A federal judge on Monday dismissed a countersuit that former President Donald Trump brought against writer E. Jean Carroll.
Trump in June countersued Carroll, seeking a retraction after she made comments to the effect that Trump had raped her. Her comments came after a jury earlier this year found Trump liable in a civil case for sexually abusing Carroll in the 1990s and defamation. The jury specifically found Trump liable of sexual abuse, not rape.
But a judge in New York in June allowed Carroll to amend her defamation lawsuit against Trump, a move that allowed her to seek additional damages after she was originally awarded $5 million.
On Monday, United States District Judge Lewis Kaplan in an opinion said Carroll’s comments are “substantially true,” a legal standard, and Trump’s attorneys didn’t show that she made them with actual malice against the former president. He found that Carroll’s reference to the word rape is on par with the term’s common use.
Politics: Donald Trump files defamation countersuit against E. Jean Carroll after sexual abuse trial
Alina Habba, a lawyer for Trump, said in a statement to multiple outlets that “We strongly disagree with the flawed decision and will be filing an appeal shortly.”
Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, who is not related to the judge, said “We are pleased that the Court dismissed Donald Trump’s counterclaim.”
“E. Jean Carroll looks forward to obtaining additional compensatory and punitive damages based on the original defamatory statements Donald Trump made in 2019,” she said.
Carroll first publicly accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in 2019, during Trump’s first term in office. He has repeatedly denied her claims.
Trump is scheduled to go to trial again in January in another defamation lawsuit from Carroll. The Justice Department last mouth said the former president is not immune from a second defamation suit from the writer pending against him over comments he made about her during his presidency.
In a letter to attorneys for Trump and Carroll, the Department of Justice said it “determined that it lacks adequate evidence” to find the former president was acting in the scope of his role as president or serving any government function when he criticized her.
The case comes after Trump last week was indicted for the third time. He is facing charges related to hush money payments in New York state, in addition to federal charges over his alleged mishandling of classified documents and his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Contributing: David Jackson, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Donald Trump’s defamation lawsuit against E. Jean Carroll dismissed