Trump Argues Carroll Libel Suit Fails Because of Verdict in Parallel Case

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(Bloomberg) — Donald Trump’s lawyer said she plans to argue that E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit against the former president fails because a jury in her parallel sexual-abuse case concluded he didn’t rape her.

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A federal jury on May 9 found Trump liable for sexually abusing — but not raping — Carroll in a department store dressing room in 1996, resolving the 2022 civil lawsuit in her favor and awarding $5 million in damages.

But Trump’s attorney Alina Habba said in a letter to the judge on Friday that the jury’s finding on rape on the 2022 case dubbed “Carroll II” has a major impact on Carroll’s first defamation suit against Trump, which she filed in 2019 after he called her a liar from the White House.

“Since the jury verdict in Carroll II did not find defendant liable for rape, then the complaint filed in Carroll I based solely on defamatory statements regarding an alleged rape should be dismissed by this court as a matter of law,” Habba said in the letter.

Habba also urged the court to deny Carroll’s request to amend the 2019 suit to add new details gleaned from Trump’s deposition in the sexual-abuse case, as well as remarks he made about her on a televised CNN town hall the day after the verdict.

In the proposed amended complaint, Carroll replaced the rape allegation with sexual assault, while Trump’s allegedly defamatory statements such as that Carroll fabricated her claims to boost book sales and falsely accused other men remain unchanged.

She’s seeking at least $10 million in damages in the amended complaint.

Allowing Carroll to amend the defamation suit “would severely and unduly prejudice” Trump, Habba said in the letter.

Trump, 76, denies attacking Carroll and argues he is protected from the earlier defamation suit by presidential immunity.

Read more: Trump Accuser Carroll Seeks $10 Million in Amended Lawsuit

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