Rep. Matt Gaetz subpoenaed in defamation suit by woman he allegedly had sex with as minor: Sources

Rep. Matt Gaetz Subpoenaed in Defamation Lawsuit by Woman Claiming Sexual Encounter as Minor

Florida Representative Matt Gaetz found himself served with a subpoena on Thursday. This legal move demands his deposition in a civil lawsuit. This case revolves around claims that he engaged in sexual relations with a 17-year-old girl. These allegations come from a lawsuit initiated by a friend of the congressman against the young woman and others.

Gaetz received the subpoena from lawyers representing the woman, who is now in her twenties. She was at the heart of a lengthy investigation by the Justice Department. This probe looked into accusations that Gaetz had sexual interactions with her while she was still a minor.

The deposition of the congressman is scheduled for April 5. This event is part of a larger defamation and racketeering lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by Chris Dorworth, a former Florida House member and lobbyist who is a longtime friend of Gaetz, against the woman and others.

During the deposition, Gaetz may have to answer questions under oath regarding his alleged sexual activities with the woman during her minor years.

John Clune, one of the woman’s attorneys, confirmed that Gaetz has indeed been served for his deposition.

A representative for Gaetz did not provide an immediate response to ABC News’ request for comment.

In March 2021, when the allegations against Gaetz first emerged, he denied them. He made these denials in an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, where he also claimed that the 17-year-old girl “doesn’t exist.”

According to court documents, Dorworth filed a lawsuit last year. This lawsuit was against Joel Greenberg, a former associate of Gaetz, who was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison in 2022. Greenberg pleaded guilty to several charges, including sex trafficking a minor, members of his wealthy family, and the woman Gaetz allegedly had sex with when she was a minor.

Dorworth’s lawsuit alleges a complex effort aimed at falsely accusing him of various crimes. These include child sex trafficking, sex with a minor, prostitution, obstruction of justice, and an illegal ghost candidate scheme.

While Gaetz is not a direct party in the civil suit, the lawsuit mentions him by name numerous times. It includes allegations that the minor at the center of the case worked to falsely implicate Dorworth, Gaetz, and others in sexual impropriety.

The young woman, identified in the lawsuit as “A.B.,” filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Her lawyers argue that Dorworth is attempting to portray her as a partner in crime with Greenberg. They claim the lawsuit seeks to preempt any claims A.B. might have against Dorworth for raping and trafficking her by requesting a broad declaratory judgment.

In 2021, Greenberg pleaded guilty to multiple federal crimes. These include sex trafficking of the woman when she was a minor and introducing her to other adult men who also had sex with her while she was underage. As part of his plea deal, Greenberg agreed to provide substantial assistance to DOJ prosecutors. This assistance was part of their investigation into Gaetz and others.

Greenberg’s attorney, Fritz Scheller, described the lawsuit as approaching the incredible, if not ludicrous. He argued that to accept the plaintiff’s RICO claim, one must believe a series of irrational premises.

The Justice Department informed Gaetz in 2023 that they were declining to bring charges against him. He has consistently denied all wrongdoing, including the allegations that he had sex with a minor.

Gaetz is also under a congressional ethics probe. This investigation stems from the Justice Department’s investigation and includes allegations of sex trafficking a minor and potential lobbying violations.

ABC News reported in February that the House Ethics Committee had issued a subpoena. This subpoena was for the testimony of a separate woman involved in the case, Gaetz’s former girlfriend, as part of the panel’s ongoing investigation.

In his 2021 interview with Fox News, when asked about the allegations, Gaetz responded, “The person doesn’t exist. I have not had a relationship with a 17-year-old, that is totally false.”