A U.S. district judge on Monday rejected a motion to combine two defamation lawsuits filed by author E. Jean Carroll against former President Trump into a single trial.
Carroll, who has accused Trump of raping her in the 1990s, filed two two defamation suits stemming from two sets of comments Trump made in 2019 and 2022. Carroll’s attorney sent a letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan on behalf of all parties requesting that the two trials from both lawsuits be combined into one.
The move that Kaplan denied on Monday would have still kept the two lawsuits separate and each would have separate rulings. The letter sent by Carroll’s lawyer had requested that the consolidated trial be held on April 25.
“The parties overestimate both the judicial economy benefits that would be achieved and the risk of inconsistent rulings that would be eliminated by consolidation,” Kaplan wrote in the ruling. “Issue preclusion appears to the Court adequate to achieve appropriate conservation of judicial resources and avoidance of inconsistent rulings even if the two cases were tried separately.”
The first defamation lawsuit is based on comments Trump said in 2019 accusing Carroll of lying about the rape allegation and criticizing her appearance. The second lawsuit was filed in October 2022 and comes from a Truth Social post made by Trump saying that Carroll’s allegation is a “hoax and a lie” and a “complete scam.”
The second defamation lawsuit also includes Carroll suing Trump for battery when he allegedly raped her in the 1990s. This case was filed after New York enacted the Adult Survivors Act, which created a one-year time frame for adult survivors of rape and sexual assault to sue the alleged perpetrator even after the statute of limitations had expired.
Kaplan ruled earlier this month that Carroll could use the “Access Hollywood” tape and the testimony of two other women who have accused Trump of sexual assault as evidence in her defamation case.
The first lawsuit’s trial, which was supposed to start on April 10, has been paused indefinitely, while the second lawsuit is headed to trial on April 25.