The longtime New York writer and women’s advice columnist who this summer accused President Trump of raping her two decades ago, sued the President on Monday for defamation.
E. Jean Carroll outlined her allegations of sexual assault against Trump in the lawsuit in the same way she wrote about the incident in an excerpt of her memoir that became public this summer. Carroll alleges that in 1995 or 1996 she ran into Trump in the Bergdorf Goodman store. The two talked and shopped together until Trump allegedly cornered her in a dressing room, allegedly knocking her head against a wall, pulling off her tights and penetrating her either partially or fully until she was able to escape.
After Carroll’s accusations — which she relayed to at least two people at the time of the alleged attack — became public this summer, Trump repeatedly attacked the writer on Twitter, most notably insulting Carroll’s physical appearance and suggesting she made up the allegations to increase book sales.
Her lawsuit outlines three instances in which Trump denied the allegations and made insulting or defamatory remarks about Carroll. In asking for unspecified compensatory damages, Carroll argues that Trump’s attacks harmed her reputation and caused her to lose readers of her advice column.
“Nobody in this nation is above the law,” the lawsuit says. “Nobody is entitled to conceal acts of sexual assault behind a wall of defamatory falsehoods and deflections. The rape of a woman is a violent crime; compounding that crime with acts of malicious libel is abhorrent. Yet that is what defendant Donald J. Trump did to plaintiff E. Jean Carroll.”
The White House responded to the suit by telling the Washington Post, which was first to report on the suit, that Carroll likely didn’t make enough money selling her book, so she’s decided to sue Trump to make up for it.
“Let me get this straight – Ms. Carroll is suing the President for defending himself against false allegations?” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told the Post on Monday. “I guess since the book did not make any money she’s trying to get paid another way. The story she used to try and sell her trash book never happened, period. Her version of events is not even feasible if you’ve ever tried on clothing in a dressing room of a crowded department store. The lawsuit is frivolous and the story is a fraud – just like the author.”
Carroll’s lawyers did not immediately return TPM’s request for comment.
Read the full lawsuit below: