On January 26, 2024, former President Donald Trump left Trump Tower in New York City to head to Federal Court for the ongoing defamation trial brought by E. Jean Carroll. The trial is taking place in lower Manhattan, and today will feature the closing statements.
A Manhattan federal court jury has determined that Donald Trump must pay Elisabeth Jean Carroll a total of 83.3 million dollars (76.7 million euros) in damages in the defamation lawsuit filed by the writer. The breakdown of the damages includes 18.3 million dollars (16.8 million euros) in compensatory damages, with 11 million dollars (10.1 million euros) allocated to finance a campaign to repair his reputation and another 7.3 million dollars (6.7 million euros) for the emotional damage caused by his statements. Additionally, he will have to pay 65 million in punitive damages (59.8 million euros). Judge Lewis Kaplan, in charge of the case, thanked the jury for their work in reaching the verdict. He advised the jury to keep their involvement in the case confidential.
In response to the verdict, the former president took to the social network Truth Social to express his disbelief, calling the situation “absolutely ridiculous” and referring to it as a “witch hunt” led by the current US president, Joe Biden. He criticized the legal system, stating that it is out of control and being used as a political weapon. Trump also announced that he plans to appeal the decision.
The case dates back to 2019 when journalist E. Jean Carroll filed a defamation lawsuit against the former president for denying her rape allegations by stating that “she was not his type” and that she made the claims to sell her book. Carroll had written in her book ‘Why do we need men?’ that Trump sexually assaulted her in the mid-90s in the changing rooms of a Manhattan store. She alleged that they met on Fifth Avenue in New York and went to a lingerie store in Bergdorf Goodman, where the assault took place.
This trial comes at a time when Trump is making renewed attempts to return to the White House and is facing other legal proceedings, including a recent indictment for concealing bribes paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual affair.
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