Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, said Trump raped her in the dressing room of a luxury Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s — an allegation Trump has denied.
The court filing Thursday said Carroll filed the lawsuit to “obtain redress for her harm and demonstrate that even someone as powerful as Trump can be held accountable under the law.”
She is suing Trump for assault and defamation, and is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, arguing that the alleged sexual assault caused “enormous pain and suffering, lasting psychological harm, loss of dignity and invasion of her privacy.”
Litigation was to be expected. Carroll said in court records filed in September that as part of her ongoing separate defamation case against Trump, she would sue the former president under the Adult Survivors Act “to the extent that statute authorizes us to this way”.
Carroll first described the alleged attack in a book in 2019. She was unable to press charges at the time because the statute of limitations had expired.
Trump, who has been accused of sexual assault by numerous other women, responded that Carroll was “a total lie” and that the reporter was “not my type.” Carroll then sued Trump for defamation.
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In court documents filed Thursday, Carroll alleges Trump “forced her against a locker room wall, pinned her with his shoulders, and then raped her.” The incident went silent for more than 20 years, until the #MeToo movement prompted survivors of sexual assault around the world to share their stories when it was decided it was time to speak out.
In a statement about the new lawsuit, Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, said the author “intends to hold Donald Trump accountable not only for defaming her, but for sexually assaulting her, as he did years ago at Bergdorf Goodman I did that in my locker room.”
“Thanksgiving was the first day Ms. Carroll could file a lawsuit under New York law, so our complaint was filed with the court shortly after midnight.”
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Trump’s lawyer, Alina Haba, dismissed the allegations on Thursday.
“While I respect and admire individuals who have come forward, this case unfortunately abuses the purpose of the Act by creating a terrible precedent and risking the credibility of the actual victims,” Harba told The Associated Press. risk of losing legitimacy.”
Carroll’s representatives sought to consolidate the defamation suit with a new lawsuit filed Thursday under the Adult Survivors Act, though Trump’s legal team argued the move was biased.
The Adult Survivors Act is modeled on New York’s Child Victims Act, which was signed into law in 2019 and provides child sexual abuse survivors with a similar opportunity to file lawsuits against their alleged abusers.
A flood of lawsuits is expected under the new law, which proponents say offers survivors the chance to hold attackers accountable — even if a long time has passed since the alleged incident.
Shayna Jacobs contributed to this report.