Carroll, a longtime columnist for Elle magazine, says Trump raped her in a dressing room at a Manhattan luxury department store in the mid-1990s — a claim Trump has denied.
Thursday’s court filing said Carroll filed the lawsuit “to seek redress for her injuries and to show that even a man as powerful as Trump can be held accountable under the law.”
She is suing Trump for assault and defamation, seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She says the alleged sexual assault caused “significant pain and suffering, permanent psychological damage, loss of dignity and invasion of her privacy.”
The lawsuit was expected. Carroll said in court filings filed in September as part of her ongoing, separate defamation case against Trump that she will file a lawsuit against the former president under the Adult Survivors Act “once that act authorizes us to do so.”
Carroll first reported on the alleged attack in a book in 2019. She was unable to bring charges at the time because the statute of limitations had expired.
Trump, who has been accused of sexual assault by a crowd of other women, responded to the allegations by saying Carroll “totally lied” and that the journalist was “not my type.” Carroll then sued Trump for defamation.
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In court documents filed Thursday, Carroll alleges Trump “pinned her against a wall in the dressing room, held her with his shoulder, and raped her.” The lawsuit notes that fearing the incident, Carroll had remained silent for more than 20 years before deciding it was time to speak out after the #MeToo movement prompted sexual assault survivors around the world to do so had to share their stories.
In a statement on the new lawsuit, Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan said the author “intends to hold Donald Trump accountable not only for libeling her, but also for sexually assaulting her, which he did years ago in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman.” Has. ”
“Thanksgiving Day was the first-ever day that Ms. Carroll could bring a lawsuit under New York law, so our lawsuit was filed in court just after midnight.”
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Trump’s attorney Alina Habba dismissed the allegations on Thursday.
“While I respect and admire individuals who come forward, unfortunately this case is an abuse of the purpose of this law that sets a terrible precedent and risks delegitimizing the actual victims’ credibility,” Habba told the Associated Press.
Carroll officials have attempted to merge the defamation lawsuit with Thursday’s new Adult Survivors Act lawsuit, though Trump’s legal team has argued the move would be detrimental.
The Adult Survivors Act is modeled after New York’s Child Victims Act, which was signed into law in 2019 and offered child sexual abuse survivors a similar opportunity to file lawsuits against their alleged abusers.
An avalanche of lawsuits are expected to be filed under the new law, which proponents say will give survivors a chance to hold their attackers accountable — even if a significant amount of time has passed since the alleged incident.
Shayna Jacobs contributed to this report.