Donald Trump must pay $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll, a writer he was found to have defamed by denying her allegation of sexual assault, a New York jury has ruled.
In 2023, E. Jean Carroll won another civil case in which a separate jury found Donald Trump legally responsible for sexually abusing and defaming her, and awarded her $5 million in damages.
The outcome in the first case did nothing to deter the former president in denying E. Jean Carroll’s story, personally attacking the writer and claiming he had never met her.
After January 26 hefty legal bill, Donald Trump notably did not denigrate the former Elle columnist in his reaction online, instead calling the case a “Biden Directed Witch Hunt”.
Donald Trump – who is currently facing four criminal indictments and could soon have to dish out millions more dollars in a New York civil trial relating to business fraud – has often claimed the cases against him are politically motivated.
Recent polling has shown Donald Trump locked in a tight race with President Joe Biden, and even edging ahead in some cases, in a prospective rematch of their 2020 race.
Lawyers for E. Jean Carroll pointed out throughout the trial that Donald Trump was still defaming her both in and out of court.
In closing arguments, they asked the jurors – seven men and two women – to deliver the kind of penalty that will “make him stop”.
Of the $83.3 million awarded to E Jean Carroll, $65 million of it is punitive damages.
It is extremely unlikely that the Supreme Court would grant an appeal, because the justices rarely ever review cases involving such civil trials.
Former federal prosecutor Mitch Epner said Donald Trump has avoided having to pay E. Jean Carroll any money so far by transmitting a deposit to the court while the appeals process plays out.
Mitch Epner expects Donald Trump will do the same with these much higher damages – stumping up either cash or an appeal bond as a deposit.
Without that, he added, E Jean Carroll could start seizing the former president’s personal assets around the country, even putting liens on his real estate.
After Donald Trump’s commanding victories in the first two Republican primary contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, there is no sign that January 26 verdict will slow his march to the party’s presidential nomination.