E. Jean Carroll speaks onstage during an event.

Judge Rejects Donald Trump’s ‘Bad Faith,’ ‘Futile’ Countersuit Against Writer E. Jean Carroll

The judge in writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against Donald Trump has dismissed Trump’s attempts to file a countersuit against Carroll, calling it “futile” and accusing him of just trying to delay the suit (which is he clearly is). Carroll filed her suit against Trump more than two years ago, and Trump has been delaying the proceedings by any means available to him, including refusing to give a DNA sample.

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As a reminder, Carroll is suing Trump for defamation because the statute of limitations—a thing that should not exist for sexual assault cases—prevents her from pursuing charges related to her allegations that Trump raped her in the mid-1990s. But in denying those allegations, Trump insulted Carroll’s character. He called her a liar and accused her of harassing him and trying to profit off of the allegations. (He also said she’s “not [his] type,” because to Trump, insulting a woman’s appearance is a legitimate rebuttal to rape accusations.)

Anyway, Trump—who is still being defended by the Justice Department for some reason—tried to countersue Carroll under a New York protection against frivolous defamation lawsuits. Fortunately, the judge saw that for what it is: a “futile,” “bad faith” delay tactic. That judge, Lewis Kaplan, agreed with Carroll that Trump’s attempt at a countersuit was “at least in part for a dilatory purpose and thus at least in part in bad faith.”

Calling pretty much anything Trump does only partly in bad faith is excessively generous.

“Plaintiff’s only claim in this case is a single count of defamation. It could have been tried and decided — one way or the other—long ago,” Kaplan wrote. “The record convinces this Court that the defendant’s litigation tactics, whatever their intent, have delayed the case to an extent that readily could have been far less.”

Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta A. Kaplan (no relation to Lewis), made it clear they both were pleased with the judge’s decision, saying a statement, “My client E. Jean Carroll and I could not agree more.”

(via CNN, image: Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Glamour)


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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.