Trump Sues ABC News, Host George Stephanopoulos For Defamation

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Mar 19, 2024 - 11:00 PM

Authored by Caden Pearson via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit on Monday against the American Broadcasting Companies (ABC) and ABC News host George Stephanopoulos, accusing them of defamation.

Republican presidential candidate, former President Donald Trump speaks in the library, at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on March 4, 2024. (Alon Skuy/Getty Images)

The complaint alleges that Mr. Stephanopoulos defamed President Trump on March 10, during an episode of “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” when he repeatedly stated during the broadcast that a jury had found President Trump liable for the rape of writer E. Jean Carroll, despite being “aware of the truth.”

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 complaint reads.

President Trump’s complaint alleges that Mr. Stephanopoulos was aware that the jury did not find the former president liable for rape, “yet still falsely stated otherwise.”

Mr. Stephanopoulos made these allegedly defamatory statements “within the scope and course of his employment or contractual relationship” with ABC and “with intent to harm” President Trump.

The filing outlined two reasons to support the claim that the statements were made “with intent to harm” as being because the ABC host allegedly “was and is aware of the truth regarding the determinations made by the subject juries.”

The additional reason outlined in the complaint alleges that Mr. Stephanopoulos’ statements “appear to have been prepared in advance and were written on notes that he was reading from while making these defamatory statements.”

Ms. Carroll claimed that the alleged incident took place at Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan more than two decades ago, but could not remember specifically when, according to the filing.

President Trump has maintained his denial of the allegations.

Statements Made During Rep. Mace Interview

The incident at the heart of President Trump’s complaint happened on March 10, during an interview Mr. Stephanopoulos was conducting with Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), who was a victim of rape at the age of 16.

During his preamble to introduce her, the ABC host played a clip of Ms. Mace speaking publicly during her 2019 campaign about the impact rape had on her.

The program then cut to Mr. Stephanopoulos, who immediately directed statements to Ms. Mace about her support for President Trump despite a jury’s verdict in his civil case involving Ms. Carroll.

Ms. Mace, who later described feeling blindsided by the questioning, accused Mr. Stephanopoulos during the interview with attempting to shame her as a victim of rape.

George Stephanopoulos with Arthur C. Brooks and Oprah Winfrey discuss "Build The Life You Want" at The 92nd Street Y, New York in New York City, on Sept. 12, 2023. (Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

“You endorsed Donald Trump for president. Judges in two separate juries have found him liable for rape and for defaming a victim of that rape. How do you square your endorsement of Donald Trump with the testimony we just saw?” asked Mr. Stephanopoulos.

Put immediately offside, Ms. Mace replied: “Well, I will tell you, I was raped at the age of 16, and any rape victim will tell you, I’ve lived for 30 years with an incredible amount of shame over being raped. I didn’t come forward because of that judgment and shame that I felt.

“And it’s a shame that you will never feel, George, and I’m not going to sit here on your show and be asked a question meant to shame me about another potential rape victim. I’m not going to do that,” she continued.

“It’s actually not about shaming you. It’s a question about Donald Trump.”

No, you are shaming me,” she insisted.

“You’ve endorsed Donald Trump for president,” he said.


“Donald Trump has been found liable for rape by a jury,” Mr. Stephanopoulos said. “Donald Trump has been found liable for defaming the victim of that rape by a jury. It’s been affirmed by a judge. He repeated—”

Ms. Mace, cutting across his statement, said: “It’s not a criminal court case, number one. Number two, I live with shame, and you’re asking me a question about my political choices trying to shame me as a rape victim and find it disgusting.”

As the heated exchange continued, Mr. Stephanopoulos denied that he was trying to shame Ms. Mace.

“You’re trying to shame me this morning,” she said.

“I’m just asking you—” said Mr. Stephanopoulos

“And I find it offensive. And this is why women won’t come forward,” Ms. Mace said.

“Women won’t come forward because they’re defamed by those who perpetrate rape. Donald Trump has been—” Mr. Stephanopoulos said.

“They are judged, and they’re shamed, and you’re trying to shame me this morning. I think it’s disgusting,” Ms. Mace continued, speaking over the host.

During his exchange, the more that Mr. Stephanopoulos defended himself against Ms. Mace’s accusations of shaming her, the more he repeated statements such as that President Trump was “found liable for rape.”

“I’m asking you a very simple question, explain what—” the ABC host said.

“And I answered it. You’re shaming me for my political choices,” Ms. Mace said.

“No, I’m not—I’m asking you a question about why you endorsed someone who’s been found liable for rape. Just answer the question.”

“It was not a criminal court. This was—this was a—it was a civil court,” she said.

“It was a civil court that found him liable for rape,” Mr. Stephanopoulos said.

The ABC host tried to move the discussion forward by noting that Ms. Mace was repeating the same statement about shaming her.

“You’re questioning my political choices because I’ve been raped,” the South Carolina congresswoman charged. “I think that’s disgusting.”

“No,” Mr. Stephanopoulos replied, “I’m questioning your political choices because you’re supporting someone who’s been found liable for rape.”

The host pushed Ms. Mace to answer his question: “Why are you supporting someone who’s been found liable for rape?”

The congresswoman asserted that President Trump was found guilty of sexual abuse. “It wasn’t actually rape, by the way,” she added.

Following the interview, Ms. Mace said she wouldn’t do an ABC interview again, telling NewsNation that she had come to discuss “Donald Trump versus Joe Biden and the 2024 race.”

ABC declined to comment to The Epoch Times.