State Senator Julie Slama has filed an action and counterclaim against Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster, who sued her for defamation on Friday.
Slama is seeking damages for psychological care and loss of personal reputation.
The senator was one of 8 women who told the Nebraska Examiner that Herbster had fondled or kissed them without consent, but the only one who released her identity.
Her attorney said Monday that she had not yet been served with the lawsuit and that Herbster will give a videotaped deposition a week from Friday. Slama is also asking the original suit be dismissed with prejudice, meaning it could not be refiled.
Herbster has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and is using a law firm also used by Trump, who has routinely filed defamation suits against women who have made similar and worse accusations against him.
Herbster’s suit describes him as “the victim of a politically motivated and groundless attack by a political opponent, who resorted to false and malicious lies” accusing him of scandalous behavior to derail his campaign.
Slama’s attorney, Dave Lopez, said Friday that the senator “will stand strong against any attempt to weaponize the judicial process to scare victims from coming forward to share the truth.”
After filing the countersuit on Monday, Lopez said the suit and deposition are steps that “will immediately preserve Senator Slama’s legal rights and guarantee that Herbster’s pending lawsuit against her includes her response and counterclaim.”
Lopez said they won’t permit to file a frivolous, bad faith lawsuit and use his national media megaphone to herald the existence of that lawsuit for his own gain, but take no steps to actually serve it and subject himself to legal accountability.
Lopez also said they “will show this lawsuit for what it is: a frivolous and bad faith attempt to bully a sexual assault victim into silence,” adding that Herbster chose to subject himself to Nebraska’s judicial system and Slama will hold him to that choice.