Writer and longtime women’s advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who has previously accused Donald Trump of raping her two decades ago in a Manhattan department store, filed a defamation lawsuit against the president Monday for claiming she lied about the alleged incident.
The lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court alleges Trump “insulted” and falsely denied her June allegation that he raped her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.
“Nobody in this nation is above the law. Nobody is entitled to conceal acts of sexual assault behind a wall of defamatory falsehoods and deflections,” the suit alleges. “The rape of a woman is a violent crime; compounding that crime with acts of malicious libel is abhorrent.”
Trump vehemently denied Caroll’s accusations, which were published in a bombshell New York magazine cover story, saying in a statement that he has “never met this person in my life.” He claimed the writer’s allegations had been fabricated for monetary gain related to her latest book.
“She is trying to sell a new book—that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section,” the president said. “Shame on those who make up false stories of assault to try to get any publicity for themselves, or sell a book, or carry out a political agenda—like Julie Swetnick, who falsely accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh. It’s just as bad for people to believe it, particularly when there is zero evidence.”
In Monday’s lawsuit, Carroll, 75, alleges the president’s statements ruined her reputation, career, and self-esteem. She wants Trump to retract his statements and is unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
“I am filing this on behalf of every woman who has ever been harassed, assaulted, silenced, or spoken up only to be shamed, fired, ridiculed and belittled,” the lawsuit alleges. “No person in this country should be above the law—including the president.”