Judge Rules Donald Trump Must Sit for Deposition in Assault Accuser's Defamation Lawsuit

The defamation lawsuit was filed by former Elle advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who claimed that Trump sexually assaulted her in a New York City dressing room in the mid-'90s

E. Jean Carroll Donald Trump
From left: E. Jean Carroll and Donald Trump. Photo: Getty Images (2)

Donald Trump must sit for a deposition next week as part of a defamation lawsuit filed by an advice columnist who claimed he raped her in the mid-1990s.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan this week ruled that Trump must answer questions under oath as part of the lawsuit, with the deposition now scheduled for Oct. 19, the Associated Press reports.

The defamation lawsuit was filed by former Elle advice columnist and TV host E. Jean Carroll, who has claimed that Trump sexually assaulted her in a New York City department store dressing room.

In a statement sent to PEOPLE, Carroll's counsel Roberta Kaplan said, "We are pleased that Judge Kaplan agreed with our position not to stay discovery in this case. We look forward to filing our case under the Adult Survivors Act and moving forward to trial with all dispatch."

Carroll, now 78, went public with her account of assault in 2019, after which Trump said in an interview: "No. 1: She's not my type" and, further, that he had "never met this person in my life." (The two have been photographed together, though Trump said that was an incidental moment.)

Trump, 76, also tweeted at the time that Carroll was "totally lying" about the rape, and claimed she made up the allegation in order to help sell her memoir.

Following those accusations, Carroll sued Trump for defamation, arguing that his claims caused her "emotional pain and suffering" and damaged "her reputation, honor, and dignity" — and thus her career.

The case has dragged on in the courts, and both the Trump- and Biden-backed Justice Departments have sought to defend the former president, as his comments about Carroll were made during the scope of the presidency.

While Trump's legal team had attempted to delay his deposition in the case, Judge Kaplan noted in a ruling that both Carroll and Trump are "already of advanced age."

"The defendant should not be permitted to run the clock out on [Carroll's] attempt to gain a remedy for what allegedly was a serious wrong," Kaplan said in the ruling ordering Trump to sit for a deposition.

The AP reports that Carroll is slated to be deposed in the case Friday.

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Just last month, Carroll said in a court filing that she plans to sue Trump under a new New York law that allows victims of sexual assault to file claims years after the incident occurred, according to CNN. That law — known as the New York Adult Survivors Act — creates a one-year lookback window for survivors of sexual abuse to file claims otherwise barred by the statute of limitations.

CNN reported that Carroll's attorneys said their client plans to allege battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress in the suit, which they said will be filed in November when the new law takes effect.

Carroll's attorneys had earlier sought a DNA sample to compare with a dress Carroll says she wore during the alleged rape.

The defamation suit is one of many legal issues facing the former president, who is currently being investigated at the federal and state level and in both criminal and civil cases for a variety of allegations linked to presidential records, the 2020 election and the Trump Organization.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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