Former President Donald Trump was ordered to pay $83.3 million in damages to E. Jean Carroll for defaming her,
Former President Donald Trump was ordered to pay $83.3 million in damages to E. Jean Carroll for defaming her, a New York jury decided on Friday afternoon. The former president lashed out over the decision on social media.
The nine-person jury began deliberations in federal court at 1:40 p.m., and they reached a verdict in less than three hours. However, Trump reportedly exited the courthouse around 4 p.m., before the jury delivered its verdict in the trial that began on Jan. 16.
The jury came to the conclusion that Trump made defamatory comments toward Carroll while in the White House in June 2019, and the verdict was announced by federal Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.
The jury decided Trump must pay $18.3 million in compensatory damages, including $11 million for damage done to Carroll’s reputation and $7.3 million for emotional harm and other damages. In addition, Trump was also ordered to pay a whopping $65 million in punitive damages – for a total of $83.3 million.
To calculate the harm to Carroll’s reputation from Trump’s remarks, Carroll’s legal team hired Ashlee Humphries — a professor of consumer sentiment at Northwestern University. The expert witness contended that Carroll would require $12.1 million in compensatory damages to rehabilitate her reputation from Trump’s comments.
Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, argued that the $12.1 million figure had “more holes than Swiss cheese.”
Habba contested that Carroll “had failed to show she is entitled to any damages at all” because she “actively sought the comments and the attention” that she received.
Regarding threats Carroll received from Trump followers, Habba said the former president “has as much control of social media users as he does the weather.”
Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, asked the jury for $24 million in compensatory damages, plus “an unusually high punitive award.”
Trump furiously reacted to the jury’s decision in an enraged diatribe on Truth Social.
“Absolutely ridiculous! I fully disagree with both verdicts, and will be appealing this whole Biden Directed Witch Hunt focused on me and the Republican Party,” Trump proclaimed in the Truth Social post. “Our Legal System is out of control, and being used as a Political Weapon.”
Trump declared, “They have taken away all First Amendment Rights. THIS IS NOT AMERICA!”
Hours before the verdict was announced, Trump slammed U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan.
“Judge Kaplan refuses to allow the Anderson Cooper Interview on CNN of E. Jean Carroll wherein Carroll says, ‘Rape is sexy,’ and numerous other things that totally exonerate me,” Trump stated in a Truth Social post.
“Judge Kaplan is refusing me my Constitutional Right to Due Process, to defend myself against this False Accusation,” the former president alleged. “This is a one-sided trial, where the other side is allowed everything, and we are allowed nothing. He is an extremely abusive individual, the likes of which few have seen before!”
In June 2019, Carroll alleged that Trump raped her at the Bergdorf Goodman department store across from Trump Tower in Manhattan sometime in 1996.
Trump, who was president at the time, called Carroll a “whack job” and claimed that he had never met her.
Trump has repeatedly and vehemently denied the sexual assault allegations by Carroll.
The 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner said this week, “I don’t even know who this woman is — I have no idea who she is, or where she came from. This is ANOTHER SCAM…it’s a POLITICAL WITCH HUNT.”
Last May, a different jury awarded Carroll $5 million in damages and nearly $3 million for defamation for public comments Trump made against her in 2022. Trump is appealing that decision.
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