Trump must pay $83.3 mn damages in defamation case, jury says

The former US president is accused of defaming writer E. Jean Carroll in 2019. Carroll's lawyer pushed for hefty compensation, which Trump's lawyer pushed back against

Trump criticised the verdict as 'ridiculous,' saying he will appeal. (illustration: DW)
Trump criticised the verdict as 'ridiculous,' saying he will appeal. (illustration: DW)
user

DW

A US jury on Friday ordered former US President Donald Trump to pay $83.3 million (roughly Rs 693 crore) in damages for defaming writer E. Jean Carroll.

The writer has accused Trump of destroying her reputation as a trustworthy journalist in 2019 by denying that he raped her nearly three decades ago.

Jurors spent Friday hearing closing arguments in the case. Carroll's lawyer had pushed for Trump to pay "dearly" for defaming Carroll and denying he raped her. The ordered payment was broken down to $18.3 million in compensatory damages and $65 million in punitive damages.

In a post on his social media platform Truth, Trump said he would appeal the verdicts in the case, and described the Friday verdict as "ridiculous."

What happened during the session?

Friday's session lasted less than three hours.

During the trial, the former president was heard muttering that the case was a "con job" and "witch hunt," claiming he still did not know who Carroll was. The judge asked him twice to stay quiet.

Trump left the courtroom during the closing argument by Carroll's lawyer, Roberta Kaplan. He then returned for his own lawyer's argument.

Kaplan argued that Trump acted as if he was not bound by the law. "This trial is about getting him to stop, once and for all," she added. "Now is the time to make him pay for it dearly."

Trump's lawyer Alina Habba meanwhile said Carroll enjoyed her newfound fame and was "happier than ever," citing her testimony that she had entered a "cocoon of love" from her supporters.

Trump's legal woes overshadow 2024 election

Friday's verdict, delivered by a seven-man, two-woman jury, was the second time in nine months that a jury retired a verdict related to Carroll. Last May, another jury ordered Trump to pay $5 million in damages to Carroll for sexual assault.

Trump has separately pleaded not guilty to charges in four separate criminal cases, including two indictments for attempting to reverse his 2020 election loss.

Despite his legal tribulations, Trump remains the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

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