Jury Demands $83.3M from Trump in E. Jean Carroll Defamation Suit

4 min read

In a significant legal setback for former President Donald Trump, a federal jury has ordered him to pay $83.3 million in damages for defaming writer E. Jean Carroll. Carroll had accused Trump of sexually assaulting her decades earlier, a claim vehemently denied by the former president. This marks the second time Carroll has prevailed in court against Trump, with a previous $5 million verdict last year for sexual abuse and defamation.

The trial, held against the backdrop of early primary contests, unfolded in the midst of Trump’s political ambitions. Carroll’s accusations became intertwined with the intensity of the primary season, commencing right after Trump’s victory in the Iowa caucuses. Trump, although not required to attend the proceedings, often chose the courtroom over the campaign trail, attending all but one day of the trial.

The trial’s timeline coincided with key primary events, including Trump’s historic win in Iowa and his continued dominance in New Hampshire. Carroll’s testimony was a focal point, with Trump briefly taking the stand as the final witness. The trial experienced a multi-day delay due to COVID-19 concerns, and the judge ultimately ruled in favor of Carroll, holding Trump liable for defamation.

Following closing arguments, the nine-member jury, consisting of two women and seven men from New York, deliberated for three hours before reaching a unanimous verdict. The damages awarded include $11 million for a reputational repair program, $7.3 million in compensatory damages, and a substantial $65 million in punitive damages.

Trump, who left the courthouse just before the verdict was announced, immediately declared his intention to appeal the decision, dismissing it as “absolutely ridiculous.” Throughout the trial, Trump maintained his stance that Carroll fabricated the assault accusation to boost sales of her book.

Jury Demands $83.3M from Trump in E. Jean Carroll Defamation Suit

Read more:

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, a Clinton appointee overseeing the trial, had previously ruled that Trump defamed Carroll. The jury’s role was limited to determining the extent of damages. The case’s narrow scope resulted from a previous jury verdict in 2023 that found Trump liable for sexually abusing Carroll in the mid-1990s, rendering his denials automatically false and defamatory.

The crux of the case revolved around a written statement given to reporters and comments made by Trump on the South Lawn in June 2019, when Carroll first publicly disclosed her accusation. The trial shed light on the profound impact of Trump’s public denials on Carroll’s life, with the writer testifying that it “ended the world” she had been living in.

Trump’s brief testimony during the trial was subject to strict limitations imposed by the judge due to issues already settled. Jurors also heard Trump’s recent comments attacking Carroll, including those made during a deposition in the case and a post-trial press conference.

The trial featured additional testimony from a marketing professor quantifying damages as Carroll’s expert witness, one of Carroll’s close friends, and the former editor-in-chief of Elle, where Carroll published her advice column.

Carroll’s legal victories against Trump are part of a broader landscape of legal challenges the former president faces. A civil fraud case, with potential repercussions for Trump’s business empire, awaits a final ruling, while Trump confronts a staggering 91 criminal charges across four indictments.

Within minutes of the verdict, Trump took to Truth Social, a platform he co-founded, to express his strong disagreement with the jury’s decision. He vowed to appeal both verdicts, echoing his stance from the previous trial.

The legal battles surrounding Trump continue to unfold, adding complexity to his political ambitions as he seeks a return to the White House. The fallout from these cases remains a significant factor in shaping the future trajectory of Trump’s personal and political life.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours