Trump’s Defamation Countersuit Against E. Jean Carroll Tossed by Judge

Judge rules that the former president failed to prove a statement Carroll made on CNN was false or “not at least substantially true”

E. Jean Carroll and Donald Trump (Getty Images)
E. Jean Carroll and Donald Trump (Getty Images)

In another blow to Donald Trump’s multifront legal battle, a federal judge on Monday dismissed Trump’s counter defamation lawsuit against columnist E. Jean Carroll, who recently was awarded $5 million when a jury found that Trump had sexually abused her.

Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that Trump failed to prove that a statement Carroll made on CNN — claiming Trump had “raped” her despite a jury verdict of “not guilty” on a rape charge — was not substantially erroneous.

The judge noted: “Indeed, the jury’s verdict in Carroll II establishes, as against Mr Trump, the fact that Mr Trump ‘raped her’, albeit digitally rather than with his penis. Thus, it establishes against him the substantial truth of Ms Carroll’s ‘rape’ accusations.”

Trump filed a lawsuit against Carroll  in June, claiming her use of the term “rape” was defamation.

Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan said that while Carroll may have been technically incorrect in her statement about being “raped,” her statement of sexual abuse by Trump was “substantially true.”

Roberta Kaplan added: “We are pleased that the Court dismissed Donald Trump’s counterclaim. That means that the January 15th jury trial will be limited to a narrow set of issues and shouldn’t take very long to complete. E. Jean Carroll looks forward to obtaining additional compensatory and punitive damages based on the original defamatory statements Donald Trump made in 2019.”

Trump based his suit against Carroll on her June CNN interview, when she discussed the jury verdict that found Trump guilty of rape.

The former president had argued that he did not rape her as defined under New York law. When asked about the statement Carroll responded: “Oh, yes he did.”

Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump, told CNN Monday: “We strongly disagree with the flawed decision and will be filing an appeal shortly.”

Meanwhile, Trump is set to go to trial in January in another lawsuit brought by Carroll under the Adult Survivors Act, for statements Trump made about her in 2019 while he was president.

The recent court ruling comes amid Trump’s growing legal woes, including three criminal indictments, which include charges of trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election.