Trump must pay E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million in defamation trial

E. Jean Carroll and her attorneys Shawn Crowley and Roberta Kaplan react outside the Manhattan Federal Court, after the verdict in the second civil trial after she accused former U.S. President Donald Trump of raping her decades ago, in New York City, U.S., January 26, 2024. 

Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters

A federal jury on Friday said Donald Trump must pay E. Jean Carroll a total of $83.3 million in damages for defaming her in statements he made as president after the writer said he had raped her in a New York department store in the 1990s.

The massive civil verdict — which comes on top of a $5 million sexual abuse and defamation verdict that Carroll won against Trump last year — was delivered less than three hours after the nine-member jury began deliberating in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Trump was not in court for the reading of the unanimous verdict on compensatory and punitive damages by the anonymous jury at 4:40 p.m. ET.

But shortly afterward, he said in a social media post that he would appeal it.

“This is a great victory for every woman who stands up when she’s been knocked down, and a huge defeat for every bully who has tried to keep a woman down,” Carroll said in a statement.

E. Jean Carroll hugs her team after the verdict was read during the second civil trial where Carroll accused former U.S. President Donald Trump of raping her decades ago, at Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, U.S., January 26, 2024, in this courtroom sketch. 

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

Her attorney Roberta Kaplan said, “Today’s verdict proves that the law applies to everyone in our country, even the rich, even the famous, even former presidents. There is a way to stand up to someone like Donald Trump who cares more about wealth, fame, and power than respecting the law.”

Jurors awarded Carroll $7.3 million in compensatory damages for emotional harm, and an additional $11 million in compensatory damages for harm to her reputation. Compensatory damages are awarded for actual losses suffered by someone.

They awarded her an additional $65 million in punitive damages after finding that Trump in a June 21, 2019, statement about Carroll had “acted maliciously, out of hatred, ill will or spite, vindictively or out of wanton, reckless, or willful disregard of Ms. Carroll’s right.”

Trump in those comments and others since then has denied ever meeting Carroll, suggested she made her claim to sell a book, and said she was not “my type.”

Punitive damages are meant to punish wrongdoing by a defendant.

Earlier Friday, Carroll’s lawyer in her closing argument had urged jurors to award her a “very large” amount of money, to make the billionaire former president “stop” slandering her.

“He doesn’t care about the law or truth but does care about money, and your decision on punitive damages is the only hope that he stops,” Kaplan said.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures to his supporters, as he departs for his second civil trial after E. Jean Carroll accused Trump of raping…

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