New York – A writer whofiled the upgraded lawsuit against him Thursday in New York, minutes after a new state law took effect that allows victims of sexual assault to sue for assaults that occurred decades ago. Attorney E. Gene Carroll filed the legal documents electronically as the Adult Survivors Act temporarily suspended the state’s usual timelines for filing sexual assault lawsuits. She sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for pain and suffering, psychological harm, loss of dignity and damage to reputation.
Carroll, a longtime columnist for Elle magazine, first came forward in a 2019 book, saying Trump raped her in the dressing room of a luxury department store in Manhattan in 1995 or 1996.
Trump responded to criticism in the bookit could never happen because Carol was “not my type”.
His remarks led to Carroll filing a defamation lawsuit against him, but that lawsuit has been put on hold in the appeals courts as judges decide whether he is immune from lawsuits over comments made while he was president.
State law previously barred Carroll from suing for the alleged rape because too many years had passed since the incident.
New York’s new law, however, gives victims of sex crimes who missed statutes of limitations a second chance to file a lawsuit. The window for such suits will be open for one year, after which the normal deadlines will resume.
At least hundreds of lawsuits are expected, including many filed by women who say they were assaulted by co-workers, prison guards, medical professionals and others.
In her new claims, Carroll alleges that Trump committed manslaughter “when he violently raped and groped her” and that he defamed her when he denied the rape last month.
In a statement, Trump said that Carole “completely made up that I met her in the doorway of this crowded New York department store and within minutes ‘knocked her out.’ It’s a hoax and a lie, just like all the other hoaxes that have been played on me over the past seven years.”
Carol’s new ability to sue Trump for rape could help her avoid a potentially fatal legal error in her original defamation case.
If the courts ultimately rule that Trump’s initial disparaging comments about Carroll’s rape allegations were part of his duties as president, she would be barred from suing him for those remarks, as federal employees are protected from defamation lawsuits. Such protection does not extend to what he did before becoming president.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who is presiding over the defamation suit filed by Carroll three years ago, may decide whether to include the new claims in a trial likely to be held in the spring.
Trump’s current lawyers said this week that they did not yet know whether they would represent him against the new charges.
Carol’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, who is not related to the judge, said at a court hearing this week that the new lawsuits should not require additional collection of evidence. She had already placed a copy of the new demands in the original case file last week. Trump and Carroll too.
In a statement regarding the new lawsuit, Kaplan said her client “intends to hold Donald Trump accountable not only for defaming her, but also for sexually assaulting him years ago in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room.”
“Thanksgiving was the very first day Ms. Carroll could have filed under New York law, so our complaint was filed shortly after midnight,” she added.
Attorney Michael Madayo, Trump’s lawyer, said at the hearing that the new allegations are significantly different from the original defamation suit and will require a “whole new set” of gathering evidence.
Trump’s attorney did not respond to a message seeking comment Wednesday. Another message seeking comment was sent to the attorney after the lawsuit was filed less than 10 minutes later the next day.