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Judge declines pause of E. Jean Carroll lawsuit against Trump

Judge declines pause of E. Jean Carroll lawsuit against Trump
Former President Donald Trump sought a stay in a defamation lawsuit while he awaits a ruling in an appeals court. File Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 15 (UPI) -- A federal judge on Wednesday denied former President Donald Trump's request to pause a case accusing him of defaming journalist E. Jean Carroll after she accused him of sexual assault.

Trump asked for a stay in the case to prevent it from moving forward as an appeals court rules on the lawsuit.

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In October, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in the Southern District of New York rejected attempts by the Justice Department to shield Trump by stepping in as the defendant in Carroll's lawsuit. Had the judge approved the request, it would have ended the case because the government can't be sued for defamation.

Trump wanted a stay in that October ruling so the case couldn't continue. By allowing the case to go forward, Trump could be subject to questioning by Carroll's lawyers.

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Carroll detailed allegations against Trump in an excerpt from her book, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, published in June 2019 in New York magazine.

She said then-real estate tycoon Trump approached her in 1995 or 1996 at Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan. Recognizing each other, she said he asked her for help buying a gift for a woman. Trump was married to Marla Maples at the time.

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Carroll said Trump followed her to a fitting room at the store, shoved her against a wall, pulled down her tights and, "forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway -- or completely, I'm not certain -- inside me."

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Carroll said she told two friends about the alleged attack at the time, but didn't contact police out of fear of death threats, and retribution from Trump. She said one friend warned her that Trump "has 200 lawyers."

"He'll bury you," the friend said.

The other pushed her to go to police.

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"'He raped you,' she kept repeating when I called her. 'He raped you. Go to the police!'" Carroll wrote.

New York magazine said it confirmed the details with the two friends.

Trump denied the allegations and a White House statement issued at the same said, "This is a completely false and unrealistic story surfacing 25 years after allegedly taking place and was created simply to make the president look bad."

Trump also accused Carroll of making up the story to help sell her book.

Carroll sued Trump in 2019, saying his denials of her accusations damaged her reputation and inflicted emotional pain and suffering.

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