The first of two defamation trials scheduled for next month regarding E. Jean Carroll’s claim that Donald Trump raped her will be delayed indefinitely, a federal judge said Monday.
The second trial – for battery and defamation based on statements the former president made about Carroll after he left office – will begin April 25 in New York.
In a joint court filing Friday, lawyers said they wanted to hold one trial on both suits, saying it would reduce confusion and save money, a request District Judge Lewis Kaplan denied.
Carroll, a former magazine writer, alleges Trump raped her in a New York department store dressing room in the mid-1990s. She first sued Trump for defamation in 2019 after he denied the rape, said “she’s not my type” and alleged she made the claim to boost sales of her book. Trump, who has launched a 2024 bid for the White House, denies all claims brought against him by Carroll.
The trial on her original lawsuit, set to begin on April 10, will now be delayed, the judge said, citing the ongoing legal battle over whether Trump can be sued for comments he made while president.
Trump and the Justice Department said he was a federal employee and his statements denying Carroll’s allegations were made in response to reporters’ questions while he was at the White House. They argue that the Justice Department should be substituted as the defendant, which, because the government cannot be sued for defamation, would end the lawsuit.
A Washington, DC, appeals court is reviewing if Trump was acting within the scope of his employment when he made the allegedly defamatory statements.
The April 25 trial on the second lawsuit will continue as scheduled. Carroll brought that lawsuit against Trump last November, after New York passed the Adult Survivors Act, which allows adults alleging sexual assault to bring civil claims years after the attack.
At the same time, Carroll alleged that Trump continued his defamatory statements on his social media platform, Truth Social, after leaving the White House.
“It is a Hoax and a lie, just like all the other Hoaxes that have been played on me for the past seven years. And, while I am not supposed to say it, I will. This woman is not my type!” the 2022 post said.
This story has been updated with additional developments.