• Mon. May 27th, 2024

Scott Stringer gets green light on defamation case against sex abuse accuser

Scott Stringer gets green light on defamation case against sex abuse accuser


Scott Stringer, whose 2021 mayoral run was upended over sexual abuse allegations, got the go ahead Thursday to proceed with a defamation suit against his accuser, Jean Kim, in state court.

Stringer, who is weighing another mayoral run in 2025, got the legal green light came from the state court’s appellate division, where a panel of judges unanimously reversed a lower court’s decision to throw out Stringer’s lawsuit based on the claim that it exceeded the statute of limitations.

“We have maintained from the very beginning that these accusations against Mr. Stringer were lies. This ruling makes it clear that the court believes Mr. Stringer should have an opportunity to litigate his claims,” said Stringer’s attorney, Milt Williams. “We look forward to moving ahead with our case, and establishing in a court of law what we have been saying from the start: the defamatory accusations against Mr. Stringer are politically motivated falsehoods.”

Kim alleged during the mayor’s race that Stringer inappropriately touched her more than two decades ago. The accusations effectively kneecapped Stringer’s Democratic primary run, which ended with him coming in 5th place.

Stringer, who served as the city’s comptroller and Manhattan borough president prior to running for mayor, has repeatedly denied the allegations and filed a defamation suit against Kim in Dec. 2022. As part of that, Stringer’s legal team submitted several sworn statements in April 2023 contending Kim lied about circumstances surrounding their relationship.

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Jean Kim (Barry Williams for New York Daily News)

Jean Kim (Barry Williams for New York Daily News)

In one of them, Alisa Schierman, who worked on Stringer’s public advocate campaign in 2001, said she witnessed Kim and Stringer “making out … for an extended period” during a night out with campaign pals at an East Side watering hole.

Kim argued in court that Stringer’s suit should be thrown out because it was filed after the statute of limitations had passed. In August, a Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruled in Kim’s favor, which led to Stringer’s appeal — and, eventually, the most recent appellate court decision in his favor.

In its ruling issued Thursday, the appellate court acknowledged that because Kim’s initial accusations were made in April 2021 — more than a year before the defamation suit was filed — that technically falls outside the statute of limitations.

But the court also pointed to Stringer’s claim that Kim “republished her original defamatory statements” against him when then-Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney referenced them in Aug. 2022 at a campaign event Kim attended. The latest ruling goes on to note that “retriggering by republication” requires that the accused “participate in or approve of the decision” to revisit the statement in question.

Kim’s lawyer Patricia Pastor said they’re prepared to continue fighting Stringer’s claim in state Supreme Court that the defamation suit falls within the statute of limitations because the allegations were republished.

“It’s a bad day for women all around,” Pastor said. “But we’re fully prepared to accept the challenge, and we fully expect to prevail.”

Stringer is now considering another run for mayor. In January, he launched an exploratory committee to test those waters, and since then, his team has been sending out email solicitations for donations on a regular basis. If he does run, he’s likely to face an incumbent in Mayor Adams who’s now dealing with a number of legal issues, including sexual abuse accusations.

Adams was accused in Manhattan Supreme Court last month of demanding a former cop colleague give him oral sex years ago in exchange for career help. According to Adams’ accuser, Lorna Beach-Mathura, the alleged incident took place more than three decades ago when Adams served as a police officer. The mayor has denied the allegations and said he did “not recall” ever meeting Beach-Mathura.

The appellate court’s ruling Thursday on Stringer’s defamation suit case was unanimous, which means Kim is precluded from appealing the decision and that Stringer’s legal team can pursue the discovery process in court.



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