Trump rape allegation: President's lawyers withdraw claim he can’t be sued based on residential status in E Jean Carroll assault case

Oliver O'Connell
·3-min read
AP
AP

A lawsuit against Donald Trump can move forward after the president declared that he still lives in New York on a call with the nation’s governors.

Writer E Jean Carroll is suing Mr Trump for defamation after he denied her allegations that he raped her in a New York department store in the mid-1990s and called her a liar.

The president’s lawyers claimed that the case could not be pursued in Manhattan Supreme Court as he does not live there, having been resident in Washington, DC, since January 2017, and having legally changed his residency to Florida in 2019.

However, on his recent call with state governors in which he urged them to “dominate” protesters in the streets of cities as unrest grew following the death of George Floyd, he said that he was particularly appalled at what he had seen taking pace in his hometown of New York.

“I live in Manhattan,” he said.

On 15 June, Ms Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, argued in a letter to the court that Mr Trump’s statement invalidated his lawyer’s claims.

The motion put forward by Mr Trump’s lawyer, Patrick McPartland, has now been withdrawn.

Ms Carroll thanked her supporters on Twitter: “Because you retweeted his call to the Governors when he bragged ‘I live in Manhattan,' his lawyers dropped the claim I can’t sue him cuz he’s not a resident of New York!”.

The allegations were first made public by Ms Carroll in June 2019 while publicising her book What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal.

In the book she describes the alleged attack by Mr Trump in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in late 1995 or early 1996.

In November 2019, Ms Carroll filed a defamation suit against him claiming that he smeared her and damaged her career as a longtime Elle magazine advice columnist.

Mr Trump said Ms Carroll was “totally lying” to sell more copies of her book and that they had never met. A photo taken in 1987 shows them together, but the president says they were just standing in line at an event.

In the suit Ms Carroll is seeking damages and a retraction of Mr Trump’s statements about her.

She is also seeking a sample of the president’s DNA to determine whether his genetic material is on a dress she wore during the encounter.

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