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Judge allows E. Jean Carroll to amend pending defamation lawsuit against Trump

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — As former President Donald Trump was being arraigned in Florida Tuesday on charges related to his handling of classified documents after leaving office, a federal judge in New York dealt him another legal blow.

Judge Lewis Kaplan allowed writer E. Jean Carroll to amend a pending defamation lawsuit against Trump to include allegedly disparaging comments he made about her last month after he was found liable for sexually assaulting her.

A jury last month found Trump liable for battery and defamation after Carroll alleged that Trump defamed her in a 2022 Truth Social post by calling her allegations “a Hoax and a lie” and saying “This woman is not my type!” when he denied her claim that he raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s.

Carroll’s amended complaint includes comments Trump made online and in a CNN town hall following the May 9 verdict in Carroll’s civil lawsuit. “I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN IS. THIS VERDICT IS A DISGRACE — A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!'” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform following the verdict.

The pending suit, which is separate from the New York lawsuit, seeks $10 million in damages on top of the $5 million the Manhattan jury awarded Trump in the other case.

“We look forward to moving ahead expeditiously on E. Jean Carroll’s remaining claims,” Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan said.

Trump, who has denied all allegations that he raped Carroll or defamed her, last week asked the Manhattan judge to reconsider the $2 million in compensatory damages because the jury did not find Trump raped Carroll as she long alleged.

“The Court should order a new trial on damages or grant remittitur because contrary to Plaintiff’s claim of rape, the Jury found that she was not raped but was sexually abused by Defendant during the 1995/1996 Bergdorf Goodman incident,” the filing from Trump’s attorneys said.

“Such abuse could have included groping of Plaintiffs breasts through clothing or similar conduct, which is a far cry from rape. Therefore, an award of $2 million for such conduct, which admittedly did not cause any diagnosed mental injury to Plaintiff, is grossly excessive under the applicable case law,” said the filing.

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