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Fed Jury Orders Trump to Pay $83.3M in Damages to E. Jean Carroll – Verdict in Defamation Case Amplifies Legal Challenges for the Former President

January 26, 2024










In a swift decision, a federal jury ruled on Friday that former President Donald Trump must pay $83.3 million in damages to E. Jean Carroll. The jury, comprising seven men and two women, took less than three hours to reach the verdict, surpassing Carroll’s minimum claim of $10 million. The breakdown includes $18.3 million in compensatory damages and a substantial $65 million in punitive damages.

Carroll, an 80-year-old journalist, had filed a lawsuit in November 2019, accusing Trump of damaging her reputation by denying allegations of rape from nearly three decades ago. The incident allegedly occurred in the mid-1990s in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in Manhattan.

Trump’s denial prompted Carroll’s legal action, and in the current trial, she emphasized that the former president had “shattered” her standing as a respected journalist who told the truth. The jury’s decision aligns with a previous verdict in May 2022, where Trump was ordered to pay Carroll $5 million for defamation and sexual abuse.

The presiding U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan stated that the earlier verdict set the precedent, leaving the jury with the task of determining the financial restitution. Trump, currently facing multiple legal challenges, including 91 felony counts, is using these cases to fuel his campaign for the 2024 election.

During the trial, Trump, 77, expressed his disdain, referring to the case as a “con job” and a “witch hunt.” Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, argued that the trial aimed to hold Trump accountable, urging that “now is the time to make him pay dearly.”

Trump’s defense, presented by lawyer Alina Habba, contended that Carroll’s fame stemmed from the publication of excerpts from her memoir, not Trump’s denials.

The Northwestern University damages expert who testified on Carroll’s behalf estimated reputational harm from Trump’s statements at $7.3 million to $12.1 million.

E. Jean Carroll, renowned for her “Ask E. Jean” column in Elle from 1993 to 2019, sheds light on the aftermath of her legal battle with Donald Trump. The seasoned journalist, who was a familiar face on programs like NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” reveals that these appearances dwindled due to the controversies surrounding her accusations against the former U.S. president.


Credit: Reuters

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