US President Donald Trump reportedly asked a New York judge to throw out a woman’s lawsuit accusing him of defamation after he denied her claim that he raped her in a department store dressing room two decades ago, writes Bloomberg.
Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who went public with her allegation against Trump in a New York Magazine article on 21 June, can’t sue the president in New York because the statements at issue were all made in Washington, his lawyer said in a New York state court filing on Friday, 3 December.
Trump, who denies having sexually assaulted Carroll, said New York courts lack personal jurisdiction over him “even when the purported statements were published to New York readers/listeners, or were directed towards or caused harm to a New York citizen”.
Carroll said in an earlier filing that Secret Service agents had blocked her attempts to serve the complaint, prompting a judge to rule that she could serve it by mail to the White House.
According to Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan, Donald Trump is misstating the law around personal jurisdiction to avoid having to turn over documents in the case – something a judge ordered him to do.
“When E. Jean’s case was filed, Donald Trump maintained a home in New York, was registered to vote in New York, paid taxes in New York, and had been sued in New York on numerous occasions -- including since 2016 -- without any objection,” Kaplan said in an email.
“Tellingly, as his papers make clear, what this motion is really about is a transparent effort to avoid discovery at all costs in a case involving a sexual assault,” added the lawyer.
E. Jean Carroll accused Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room 23 years ago. The article posted in June featured an excerpt from Carroll’s book “What Do We Need Men For” which was released on 2 July 2019.
In response to Carroll’s allegations, the president issued a statement vehemently denying her claims, and saying that he never even met Carroll.
“She is trying to sell a new book -- that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section. Shame on those who make up false stories of assault to try to get publicity for themselves, or sell a book, or carry out a political agenda,” said Trump.
To date, more than a dozen women have publicly accused President Trump of sexual misconduct, all of which he denies.