A writer who says Trump raped her plans to use a new law to prove it.
Former Elle advice columnist E. Jean Carroll had already sued the former president for libel after he called her a liar.
In May, New York passed a law that gives adults who have been sexually assaulted a single chance to file a civil lawsuit, even if the statute of limitations has long since passed.
According to court papers made public on Tuesday, a writer who says that former President Donald J. Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s plans to use the law to sue Mr. Trump.
The writer, E. Jean Carroll, had already sued Mr. Trump for defamation in 2019. She said that by calling her a liar and denying that he had attacked her, he had hurt her reputation.
In a letter to the federal judge in charge of the defamation case, Ms. Carroll's lawyer, Roberta A. Kaplan, said that Ms. Carroll plans to file her new case against Mr. Trump on Nov. 24. This is the first day of a one-year window in which the law lets such suits be filed.
In the letter, Ms. Kaplan said that she planned to ask Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the Southern District of New York to try both cases at the same time on February 6, when Ms. Carroll's defamation lawsuit was set to go to court.
In a letter to Judge Kaplan, Mr. Trump's lawyer, Alina Habba, said that granting Ms. Carroll's request would hurt Mr. Trump "extraordinarily" and go against his rights.
The letters from Ms. Kaplan and Ms. Habba were from August, and the court hadn't made them public before.
Ms. Carroll was an advice columnist for Elle magazine for many years. In 2019 she wrote about the assault she said Mr. Trump did in a book and an article for New York magazine.
In the magazine, Ms. Carroll said that in the mid-1990s, Mr. Trump threw her against a wall in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman store in Manhattan. She said that Mr. Trump then pulled her tights down, opened his pants, and tried to force himself on her.
After Ms. Carroll's claim was made public, Mr. Trump said that she was "totally lying," that the attack never happened, and that he couldn't have raped her because she wasn't his "type."
He said in a statement, "She is trying to sell a new book." "It should be in the section for stories."
Ms. Carroll filed her defamation lawsuit against Mr. Trump in state court at first. In September 2020, at the White House's request, the Justice Department took over Mr. Trump's defense from his private lawyers and moved the case to federal court.
The department, which was led at the time by Attorney General William P. Barr, said that Mr. Trump couldn't be sued for defamation because of a law that protects federal workers from lawsuits that come up because of how they do their jobs.
President Bill Clinton put Judge Kaplan on the federal bench in 1994. He ruled against the government, saying that Mr. Trump was not acting in his official capacity when he denied Ms. Carroll's claim.
"His comments were about an alleged sexual assault that happened decades before he became president," Judge Kaplan wrote. "These allegations have nothing to do with the official business of the United States."
The Justice Department took the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, where it is still being considered.
In a letter to the judge that was made public on Tuesday, Ms. Carroll's lawyer, Ms. Kaplan, said that she now plans to ask for Mr. Trump's deposition, even though she had said before that it wouldn't be necessary.
Ms. Kaplan wrote that Mr. Trump and his lawyers "barely participated" in the process of "pretrial discovery," in which the parties hand over documents and answer questions called "interrogatories."
Ms. Kaplan wrote that her earlier statement that Mr. Trump's deposition would not be needed was based on the idea that the documents and answers to questions would be enough "to explain the defendant's defenses in this case."
"But it looks like the only way to do that now is through a deposition," Ms. Kaplan wrote.
In her reply, Ms. Habba said that Ms. Kaplan's letter "contains many false statements that seem to be meant to make it look like defendant is not meeting his discovery obligations."
Ms. Habba said, "This is just not true."
Tuesday night, Ms. Habba didn't respond to a request for comment, and Ms. Kaplan said she didn't want to say anything.