On Monday, a federal judge dismissed a countersuit that former President Donald J. Trump had filed against E. Jean Carroll, the writer he was found liable for sexually abusing and defaming after a civil trial in Manhattan this year.
Mr. Trump had accused Ms. Carroll of defamation for her repeated assertions that he had raped her in the dressing room of a New York department store nearly 30 years ago. In May, a jury found that Ms. Carroll had proved that the former president sexually abused her but did not hold Mr. Trump liable for rape.
Ms. Carroll, a former magazine columnist, first spoke publicly about the assault in June 2019 while Mr. Trump was in office. At that time, he labeled the allegation “totally false,” called Ms. Carroll a liar, and argued that she was trying to sell a new book. He also claimed that he would not have assaulted Ms. Carroll because she was not his “type.”
Mr. Trump is currently facing numerous legal problems, both civil and criminal, including three indictments, one of which is for attempting to overturn the presidential vote that he lost in 2020.
Ms. Carroll brought her lawsuit in 2022 over conduct that occurred before Mr. Trump’s term, using a New York law that allowed adults a one-year window to sue over past sexual abuse. The jury awarded her $2 million for his misconduct and nearly $3 million for defamation.
In June, Mr. Trump countersued, arguing that Ms. Carroll should not have continued to claim that he raped her after the jury’s decision and that her comments to CNN after the verdict damaged his reputation.
However, in the ruling on Monday, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan wrote that the jury’s finding implicitly determined that Mr. Trump had forcibly penetrated Ms. Carroll with his fingers, which he said amounts to rape as the term is commonly used outside of the narrower legal definition that the jury was required to consider.
In a defamation case against a public figure, the truthfulness of an assertion is a key component. Mr. Kaplan wrote that such a figure must show that the statements in question were false and published with “actual malice.”
Ms. Carroll is seeking millions more in a parallel defamation case that has been delayed by appeals.
She argues that Mr. Trump inflicted serious harm on her reputation and career by calling her a liar when he was president. That trial, scheduled to begin in January, had been stalled by Mr. Trump’s arguments that he was protected by his position.