Who is E Jean Carroll and why did she file a defamation lawsuit against Trump? | The Sun

WRITER E Jean Carroll filed a defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump in 2019 claiming he tarnished her reputation in his response to her sexual assault allegations against him.

Trump is scheduled to answer questions under oath on October 19, 2022, after more than a year of delays.

Who is E Jean Carroll?

E Jean Carroll is an American writer and journalist who had a column in Elle Magazine titled Ask E Jean, from 1993 to 2019.

Carroll was still working at Elle Magazine when she wrote and published her memoir, What Do We Need Men For?

The book honed in on Carroll's experiences with men harassing and mistreating her, and one excerpt centered on an encounter with former President Donald Trump in a New York City department store.

It was while she was leaving Bergdorf Goodmans in the mid-1990s that Carroll wrote she ran into Trump.

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In her excerpt, she claims he asked her to help him select a gift for a woman and after pointing to a hat or purse, he allegedly told her to go to the lingerie section and try something on.

Carroll said no one was in the store and she couldn't see an attendant when Trump shoved her into a dressing room.

She claims he raped her that night and she went to two friends for advice, one of whom had advised her to go to the police, while another told her to let it go.

“Tell no one. Forget it! He has 200 lawyers. He’ll bury you," Carroll recollected her friend saying in her book.

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The excerpt was published ahead of her book's release on The Cut in 2019 and she explained why she had never said anything before then.

"Why haven’t I 'come forward' before now?" Carroll wrote. She explained: "Receiving death threats, being driven from my home, being dismissed, being dragged through the mud, and joining the 15 women who’ve come forward with credible stories about how the man grabbed, badgered, belittled, mauled, molested, and assaulted them, only to see the man turn it around, deny, threaten, and attack them, never sounded like much fun. Also, I am a coward."

Why did she file a defamation lawsuit against Trump?

After Carroll's book was published on July 2, 2019, Trump immediately spoke out about the allegations.

He vehemently denied the claims in an interview with The Hill and said: "I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?” 

Earlier that day, Carroll had said on CNN that Trump “just went at it” when he allegedly raped her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman.

She added: “He pulled down my tights, and it was a fight.”

When asked to respond to her claims, Trump said she was “totally lying. I don’t know anything about her."

He continued: “I know nothing about this woman. I know nothing about her. She is — it’s just a terrible thing that people can make statements like that.”

As a result of Trump's comments, Carroll claims she was fired from Elle Magazine, where she had worked for over 20 years.

In a court filing obtained by USA Today, Elle's managing editor Erin Hobday wrote on December 11, 2019, to confirm that Carroll's contract had been terminated.

Carroll wrote on Twitter: "Because Trump ridiculed my reputation, laughed at my looks, & dragged me through the mud, after 26 years, ELLE fired me."

She added: "I don't blame Elle … I blame @realdonaldtrump."

In response, Carroll filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump, claiming he tarnished her reputation and her career by denying her rape allegations and accusing her of lying to increase her book sales.

Carroll's lawsuit comes as more than a dozen women accused Trump of sexual harassment since 2015, all of which he has denied and claimed the women are lying.

What are the next steps in the lawsuit?

Trump will sit for a deposition on October 19, meaning he will have to answer questions regarding the defamation lawsuit under oath.

The former president has sought to delay the lawsuit since it was filed in 2019 and attempted to have it redirected toward the federal government.

He tried to reason that because he was the president at the time he denied raping Carroll, he was immune to legal liability.

Under the Westfall Act, the federal government is required to defend its employees against civil suits that arise within the scope of their office or employment.

A panel of the court of appeals judges did determine that Trump was a federal government employee at the time but requested the DC Court of Appeals to determine if Trump's actions were within the scope of his employment. The DC Court of Appeals has not yet made a decision.

However, Trump may have opened himself up to further litigation when he posted on his social media platform Truth Social: “It is a Hoax and a lie, just like all the other Hoaxes that have been played on me for the past seven years.

“And, while I am not supposed to say it, I will. This woman is not my type!”

The question remains if Trump's post will affect his argument that he is protected under the Westfall Act, given he wrote the post while he was not a federal government employee.

Barbara McQuade, an MSNBC columnist and legal analyst told Vice News that Carroll "should amend her complaint to include an additional count based on the new statement.

"Because Trump is no longer president, this statement was most certainly not made in the scope of his federal employment.”

Trump requested to delay his deposition until a decision is made about the scope of his employment.

The judge ruled against the request, saying: “Given his conduct so far in this case, Mr Trump's position regarding the burdens of discovery is inexcusable.”

Is E Jean Carroll filing another lawsuit against Donald Trump?

Carroll says she plans to use a new state law in New York to sue Trump for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress under the Adult Survivors Act.

The new law was signed into effect in May 2022 and allows sexual assault victims to file a one-time civil lawsuit even though the statute of limitations expired.

The New York Times reported that Carroll plans to file the lawsuit on November 24, and her lawyer, Roberta A Kaplan, asked the judge if the two cases could be tried together.

Trump's lawyer, Alina Habba, responded in a letter to the judge, saying if Carroll's request was granted it would violate Trump's rights and be "extraordinarily prejudicial."

The Guardian reported that Habba said Trump "adamantly" objects to combining both lawsuits, and wrote in the letter: “To permit plaintiff to drastically alter the scope and subject matter of this case at such time would severely prejudice defendant’s rights."

She added: “Plaintiff’s request must be disregarded in its entirety.”

If approved, both cases would be tried on February 6, the date the trial for her defamation lawsuit was originally scheduled.

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