Trump and E. Jean Carroll agree to combine rape defamation trials
Former President Donald Trump and E. Jean Carroll have agreed to combine two upcoming trials next month regarding Carroll’s claim that Trump raped her in the mid-1990s.
In a joint court filing Friday, lawyers said they wanted to hold the trial April 25 in New York in two suits Carroll has filed – one for allegedly defamatory comments Trump made as president in 2019, and a second for battery and other statements Trump made after he left office.
Trump denies all claims brought against him by Carroll.
Carroll, a former magazine writer, alleged Trump raped her in a New York department store dressing room and defamed her when he denied the rape, said “she’s not my type” and alleged she made the claim to boost sales of her book.
“[E]vidence relating to this central factual question ‘is relevant to both cases,’ and will be presented at both trials,” the lawyers wrote Friday. “Because of the overlapping nature of these proceedings, a single trial will reduce costs across the board, avoid the risk of inconsistent factual rulings or jury confusion, and economize matters for the Court (as well as for both parties’ witnesses).”
A federal judge must still approve the proposal to combine the trials.
The proposed combined trial, the lawyers added, should continue regardless of the ongoing legal attempt by the former president to have the first defamation lawsuit thrown out.
Trump and the Justice Department said he was a federal employee and his statements denying Carroll’s allegations were made in response to reporters’ questions while he was at the White House. They argue that the Justice Department should be substituted as the defendant, which, because the government cannot be sued for defamation, would end the lawsuit.
A Washington, DC, appeals court is reviewing if Trump was acting within the scope of his employment when he made the allegedly defamatory statements.
Carroll brought her second lawsuit against Trump last November, after New York passed the Adult Survivors Act, which allows adults alleging sexual assault to bring civil claims years after the attack.
At the same time, Carroll alleged that Trump continued his defamatory statements 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 post said.