Trump sues ABC News, George Stephanopoulos for defamation after on-air accusation that Trump was found liable for 'rape'

During this interview, "Stephanopoulos wrongfully asserted, as supposed fact, that Plaintiff was 'found liable for rape' more than ten times."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

2024 presumptive GOP nominee President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit in Florida on Monday against ABC News and George Stephanopoulos for defamation. The suit states that in an interview with Rep. Nancy Mace, the ABC News host said that Trump was "found liable for rape." This allegation stems from a case with notorious New York advice columnist E Jean Carroll, who claimed that Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman's dressing room at some unspecified time in the mid-1990s.

"These statements were and remain false, and were made by Defendant Stephanopoulos with actual malice or with a reckless disregard for the truth given that Defendant Stephanopoulos knows that these statements are patently and demonstrably false," the lawsuit stated.

Trump was found liable for sexual assault in the civil suit, but not of rape. Stephanopoulos made the remarks during a March 10 interview with Mace.

The lawsuit notes that on May 9, 2023, a jury issued its verdict in the defamation case brought forth by Carroll, who claimed that she was raped by Trump in a New York City department store at some time that she could not specifically pinpoint in the mid-1990s.

The jury found that Carroll had not proven her allegation of rape, "and found Plaintiff not liable as to that allegation." Trump was instead found liable for sexual abuse.

During the "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" interview, the host played a clip showing Mace recounting how she was a victim of rape, and questioned how she could endorse a candidate that was "found liable for rape."

"Given that this was the first question of the Interview, combined with the intensity and persistence of the questioning engaged in by Stephanopoulos of an actual rape victim, it was clear that Stephanopoulos maliciously intended to convince his viewers of a falsity, i.e. that Plaintiff had been found liable of rape."

During this interview, the suit states, "Stephanopoulos wrongfully asserted, as supposed fact, that Plaintiff was 'found liable for rape' more than ten times."

These statements, the lawsuit noted, were seen and heard by millions of viewers across the country.

The lawsuit also noted that Stephanopoulos was indeed aware of the correct verdict, stating in a February 4 airing of his show that "most recently, this E Jean Carroll case where juries have found him liable for sexual assault and defamation."

The defendants were contacted by Trump’s team after the airing of the interview, requesting a retraction as well as an apology, but these things were not done.

"Rather, instead of removing the Interview from its media presence and issuing a public statement correcting Stephanopoulos’ false and defamatory statements, ABC instead modified the headline of a related article from 'Nancy Mace defends her support for Trump after he was found liable for rape' to 'Nancy Mace defends her support for Trump after he was found liable for sexual assault.'"

The lawsuit noted that in the aftermath of the interview, left-wing journalist Aaron Rupar and others endorsed "Stephanopoulos’ false and defamatory statements" and "further propagated the misinformation."

The lawsuit seeks damages, punitive damages, court costs, and other relief deemed just by the court.

Trump Sues ABC, George Step... by Hannah Nightingale

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