Trump, Carroll agree to combine defamation lawsuits into single case
Former President Trump and author E. Jean Carroll, who has accused him of raping her in the 1990s, agreed to combine Carroll’s claims of defamation against Trump from two trials into a single trial.
Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, said in a letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan on Friday on behalf of all parties involved to request that the two trials stemming from separate comments Trump has made that Carroll said were defamatory be consolidated into one.
Carroll’s attorney and the judge have no relation to each other.
The attorney said in the letter that the parties agreed the consolidated trial should start on April 25 and cover liability and damages for both cases.
The first defamation case comes from comments Trump made in 2019 accusing Carroll of lying about the rape allegation and criticizing her physical appearance. The second one stems from a post he made on Truth Social in October saying that the allegation is a “hoax and a lie” and a “complete scam.”
Carroll also sued Trump for battery in the second defamation suit after New York passed the Adult Survivors Act to open a one-year window for survivors of rape and sexual assault to sue the alleged perpetrator even if the statute of limitations had expired.
The request for a consolidated trial needs to be approved by the judge.
If the request is granted, the parties are asking that the jury use a special form to identify any damages applicable to each claim. They would also agree to not seek a stay of the trial date.
Carroll’s attorney said in the letter that the parties believe consolidating the cases would be in the judge’s interest, as Kaplan has acknowledged that the “same factual question is ‘central’” to both cases.
“Because of the overlapping nature of these proceedings, a single trial will reduce costs across the board, avoid the risk of inconsistent factual rulings or jury confusion, and economize matters for the Court (as well as for both parties’ witnesses),” the letter states.
The judge ruled last week that the jury in the defamation case could hear the “Access Hollywood” tape from 2016 in which then-candidate Trump is heard talking about making apparently unsolicited sexual advances toward women and from two other women who have accused Trump of sexual assault.
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