E Jean Carroll - the New York journalist who alleged that Donald Trump raped her at a department store in the 1990s - is suing the president for defamation, saying he "smeared her integrity, honesty, and dignity" after she came forward earlier this year.
Mr Trump responded to Carroll's allegations - published in New York magazine in June - by denying he’d ever met her, even after a photo emerged of him speaking with her at an event. He called her a liar, and suggested she was working with the Democratic Party to smear him.
She is seeking damages for emotional pain, and negative effects on her career.
The suit, filed by the civil right lawyer Roberta Kaplan in New York state court, says the writer wants “to obtain redress for those injuries and to demonstrate that even a man as powerful as Trump can be held accountable under the rule of law.”
In a statement, Carroll said: “No one, not even the president, is above the law. While I can no longer hold Donald Trump accountable for assaulting me more than twenty years ago, I can hold him accountable for lying about it and I fully intend to do so.”
Carroll claims Mr Trump cornered her in a dressing room in Bergdorf Goodman in the mid 1990s, forced her up against a wall and raped her.
“He pulled down my tights, and it was a fight,” she told CNN earlier this year. “I fought. It was over very quickly, and it was against my will, 100 per cent. I fought and then I ran away.”
Mr Trump responded in an Oval Office interview with The Hill: “I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened. It never happened, OK?"
Carroll says in the complaint that she stayed quiet about her alleged rape because she feared Mr Trump would ruin her career and sue her. She also said she wanted to avoid upsetting her mother, "a respected Republican official in Indiana, was dying during the last six weeks of the presidential election".
But she began changing her mind about her silence in late 2017 when film producer Harvey Weinstein was publicly accused by multiple women of sexual assault and abuse.
“It suddenly seemed possible that even Trump could be held to account,” the suit says.
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