Trump ordered to pay $83 million in defamation case

Former president Donald Trump has been ordered to pay journalist E. Jean Carroll $83 million in her civil defamation case against him, a Manhattan federal jury decided Friday afternoon.

Jurors reached a verdict in under three hours, taking into account compensatory and punitive damages for Trump’s allegedly malicious defamation of the columnist. The jury began deliberating around 1:40 p.m. over their lunch break, as told by U.S. district judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over the trial.

If a decision was not made by 4:30 p.m., the judge told the jury to send him a note either asking to break for the weekend or to deliberate further into Friday evening.

Trump must now pay $18.3 million in compensatory damages and $65 million in punitive damages, adding to a total of $83.3 million. The final amount was nearly $60 million more than what Carroll’s side was seeking, which was $24 million.

In a statement, Trump called the second verdict in the case “absolutely ridiculous” and said he would appeal the decision. He was not present in the courthouse when the verdict was announced.

In May, Trump was ordered to pay Carroll $5 million in combined damages after a separate jury found him liable for sexually abusing and defaming his accuser. At the time, jurors were asked to determine whether there was more than a 50 percent chance that Trump assaulted Carroll in the dressing room of the Bergdorf Goodman store in Manhattan in the mid 1990s, as she has claimed.

The previous jury found that Trump most likely sexually assaulted Carroll but rejected the allegation that he raped her. The jury also decided that Trump’s Truth Social post from October 2022 calling her allegations a “hoax” did defame Carroll.

Considering liability had already been determined, the current jury was only tasked with deciding how much Trump should pay Carroll on top of the $5 million that was awarded last year. Carroll was originally seeking $10 million in damages, but her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, increased the amount to at least $24 million during the trial’s closing arguments earlier Friday.

Notably, Trump abruptly walked out of court during the closing arguments after Roberta Kaplan, who is not related to Judge Lewis Kaplan, called him a liar for dismissing her client’s sexual-battery allegations.

“Ms. Carroll did not make it up, the sexual assault happened and his denials were all complete lies,” the lawyer said.

About an hour later, Trump returned to the courtroom to hear his attorney’s closing statements.

The unanimous verdict comes one day after Trump testified in his defense for three minutes. His brief testimony marked the first time the former president has defended himself before a jury in any court case brought against him since the end of his first term.

“I was only defending myself from what I believe was a false allegation,” Trump said when asked if he ever threatened Carroll in his tweets and social-media posts.

Trump has repeatedly maintained his innocence by claiming that he never met Carroll, let alone assaulted her.

Just last week, Trump posted on Truth Social that Carroll “has been ‘all over the place’ on the timing of this alleged ‘incident,’ which never took place, and is being coached by Lunatic Radical Left Democrat operative attorney, Roberta Kaplan, who has sued me before, and just lost.”

“I am the only one who has been injured by this attempted EXTORTION,” Trump wrote.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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