Donald Trump has filed a counterclaim against author E. Jean Carroll, alleging she defamed him in remarks she made on CNN after triumphing in a civil trial last month against the former president.
Carroll claims that during an encounter in the 1990s at a department store in New York City, Trump sexually attacked her. The former president has angrily denied it. Carroll received $5 million from Trump in May after a jury ruled him responsible for sexual assault and defamation. He was not found to be responsible for rape.
“Trump filed the counterclaim on Tuesday that alleged that Carroll defamed him when she accused him of raping her during an appearance on CNN on May 10, which is just a day after a nine-member jury found that Trump did not commit rape. According to the counterclaim, Trump alleged that Carroll defamed him when she said, ‘oh yes he did, oh yes he did,’ in response to an interview question on CNN asking for her thoughts on the jury’s ruling that Trump was not liable for rape,” The Hill reported.
Trump argues in his counterclaim that Carroll made “these false statements with actual malice and ill will with an intent to significantly and spitefully harm and attack.” According to the filing, Trump “has been the subject of significant harm to his reputation, which, in turn, has yielded an inordinate amount of damages sustained as a result.”
Trump’s lawyers argued that Carroll’s comments on CNN were made on multiple platforms to make sure they reached a large audience.
“The interview was on television, social media, and multiple internet websites, with the intention of broadcasting and circulating these defamatory statements among a significant portion of the public,” Trump’s lawyers argued in the filing.
“Counterclaim Defendant made these false statements with actual malice and ill will with an intent to significantly and spitefully harm and attack Counterclaimant’s reputation, as these false statements were clearly contrary to the jury verdict in Carroll II whereby Counterclaimant was found not liable for rape by the jury,” it said.
The counterclaim said Carroll’s comments “constitute defamation per se, as Counterclaim Defendant accused Counterclaimant of rape, which clearly was not committed, according to the jury verdict in Carroll II.“
“Due to Counterclaim Defendant’s repeated falsehoods and defamatory statements made against the Counterclaimant, Counterclaimant has been the subject of significant harm to his reputation, which, in turn, has yielded an inordinate amount of damages sustained as a result,” the filing said.
Fox News noted further:
Carroll, 79, alleged that Trump raped her at the Bergdorf Goodman department store across the street from Trump Tower in Manhattan sometime in 1996. According to Carroll, the two had a chance run-in at the store, where Trump was shopping for a gift for “a girl.”
She said he asked for her advice, and the two shopped together before he pushed her into a dressing room and assaulted her. Trump and his legal team insist that Carroll’s allegations are fabricated, with the former president’s initial reaction including an accusation that Carroll was motivated by wanting to sell copies of her book. That denial resulted in Carroll slapping Trump with a defamation claim, claiming that his response caused harm to her reputation.
Carroll sought monetary compensation and an order for Trump to recant his statement.
The former president’s 2024 campaign blasted the ruling as a “witch hunt” that had reached a “new low,” as well as an “abuse of our great Constitution.”
“The facts in evidence made plain here that E. Jean Carroll’s story is not worthy of your belief, not even close,” Tacopina said. “Her story – and it’s just that, a story – is not true, she was not raped at Bergdorf Goodman’s. She was not defamed by being called out on making up that story.”
Trump didn’t testify at the trial but instead gave a videotaped deposition in October. Famed legal expert Jonathan Turley thinks that may have been a mistake on Trump’s part and he may have difficulty on appeal.