Why Trump may win his lawsuit for defamation against E. Jean Carroll

Special to WorldTribune.com

By Bill Juneau, July 3, 2023

In a peculiar turn around, former President Trump is countersuing the woman who accused him of raping her in the changing room of a Bergdorf Goodman department store across the street from Trump Tower in Manhattan sometime in 1996; and of defaming her by calling her a “liar.”

Trump’s case against his accuser seems valid, though seemingly unprecedented and certainly unusual.  “The Donald” maintains that the charges  against him by the former Elle magazine writer, E. Jean Carroll, was fiction –it never happened and her abiding interest is in a big payday, and, says the ex-president, she has the backing of the standing Trump-hating woke crowd, and the far, far left New York  government, and the dishonest media.

Following a jury trial last May, the 79-year-old Carroll, was awarded $5 million, with the jury finding for her claims of sexual battery and that she had been defamed by Trump.  Carroll, was the author of an advice column, “Ask E. Jean” which ran for nearly 20 years in  Elle magazine.

The accusations against the ex-President were first made as part of an article she wrote and had published in 2019.

E. Jean Carroll

According to Carroll, the two had a chance run-in at the store, where Trump was shopping for a gift for “a girl.”  She said he asked for her advice, and the two shopped together and then he pushed her into a dressing room and assaulted her.

The former United States President has been vocal and assertive to everyone who would listen that the encounter never happened and that Ms. Carroll had concocted the story. “We’ll be appealing this decision,” said Trump.  “It’s a disgrace…the trial was very unfair.”

On the advice of his lawyers, Trump declined to participate in the jury trial in New York where Trump is anathema to the woke-minded residents who cheer every day for him to be slammed and denigrated and incarcerated. Trump is evil and must pay the price. Innocent or not, he must be punished, as is the sentiment of many New Yorkers and political opponents.

The New York jury heard  only from Carroll, and they believed parcels of her story of 27 years ago. In its verdict, they found that Trump’s public denunciation of her constituted defamation, and the jury delivered a verdict in her favor.  The panel in district court in Manhattan reported that she had been subject to “sexual abuse,”  but not “rape.”

Following the trial, the feisty, Carroll guested on the CNN cable station, and repeated that she had been “raped” by the ex-President who is a candidate for reelection in 2024.  Trump again called her a lying gold digger and a nut job or something like that, and Carroll promptly filed another defamation claim, and that claim is scheduled to be the subject of a trial next year.

Trump’s lawsuit against Carroll was filed June 27 and is a counterclaim for defamation based on the fact that Carroll alleges she was raped when in fact the jury found that rape “clearly was not committed’ and that Carroll had made the false claim both before and after the trial.

Carroll’s “repeated falsehoods and defamatory statements against Trump, who is running for president again, have done significant harm to his reputation, which, in turn, has yielded an inordinate amount of damages sustained as a result,” Trump’s lawyers said in the court filings.

Trump is seeking a retraction as well as unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, in the lengthy battle between the former US president and the elderly advice giver for troubled ladies.

Perhaps this is Trump’s opportunity for his lawyers to cross examine Carroll with gusto as a new jury listens.  Trump will certainly testify and he can be  persuasive.

Bill Juneau worked for 25 years as a reporter and night city editor at the Chicago Tribune. Subsequently he became a partner in a law firm and also served as a village prosecutor and as a consultant to the Cook County Circuit Court and to the Cook County Medical Examiner. He is currently writing columns and the ‘Florida Bill‘ blog.