Donald Trump has dismissed the allegations as fabrications and called it a smear campaign. Photograph: Gerardo Mora/Getty Images
Counsel for Jeffrey Epstein, associate of Prince Andrew convicted of underage sex crimes in Florida in 2008, also ordered to appear for December civil hearing…
A federal judge in New York has ordered counsel for Donald Trump and the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to appear in court along with the attorney for a woman referred to only as “Jane Doe” who alleges the Republican presidential nominee raped her when she was 13.
Judge Ronnie Abrams has slated an initial status conference in the civil lawsuit for 16 December in a New York district court.
The order raises the extraordinary prospect, were Trump to win the 8 November battle for the White House, of counsel for a US president-elect being called into federal court in proceedings relating to allegations of rape of an underage girl.
Trump has vociferously denied the accusations, dismissing them as fabrications and slamming the lawsuit as a sham designed to smear him as he runs for highest office. Epstein, an associate of the UK’s Prince Andrew who was convicted of underage sex crimes in Florida in 2008, has also denied the allegations.
A Guardian investigation this summer found that the lawsuit appeared to have been coordinated by a former producer on the Jerry Springer TV show who has been associated in the past with a range of disputed claims involving celebrities including OJ Simpson and Kurt Cobain. A publicist acting for “Jane Doe” also attempted to sell a video in which the woman describes her allegations against Trump to media outlets at a $1m price tag.
The court order gives no details of the legal complaint raised by “Jane Doe”. It instructs all parties to the case to set out in advance the nature of the allegations and the “principal defenses”, as well as any previous motions and discovery as well as the “estimated length of trial”.
The original federal lawsuit, filed in June, alleged that “Jane Doe” was sexually assaulted by Trump in 1994 at Epstein’s Manhattan home. Further claims were made that the real estate billionaire raped the then teenager at parties hosted by Epstein on the Upper East Side.
The Guardian investigation found that a publicist calling himself “Al Taylor” attempted to sell the video tape of “Jane Doe” relating her allegations for $1m. It linked Taylor through a variety of means including shared email addresses and phone numbers to Norm Lubow, who used to work on Jerry Springer’s daytime talk show.
Lubow was connected to a contentious claim, raised in the 1998 documentary movie Kurt and Courtney, that Courtney Love offered a fellow musician $50,000 to murder her husband, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. Love denied the charge.
According to the New York Post, Lubow was also behind a tabloid newspaper story that OJ Simpson bought illicit drugs on the day his estranged wife Nicole Brown was killed.
When the Guardian quizzed “Al Taylor” about his true identity, the publicist replied: “Just be warned, we’ll sue you if we don’t like what you write. We’ll sue your ass, own your ass and own your newspaper’s ass as well, punk.”
The Trump presidential campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the forthcoming court proceedings. A lawyer for the Trump Organization told the Guardian in July: “This is basically a sham lawsuit brought by someone who desires to impact the presidential election.”