Woah, Jury Rules Trump Has to Pay E. Jean Carroll a Staggering $83.3 Million
After the verdict was read, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan thanked the jurors and advised them to “never disclose that you were on this jury.”
On Friday, a New York jury ruled that former President Donald Trump must pay E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million in compensatory damages for defaming her—a decision that concludes the second defamation trial between Carroll and Trump.
Carroll previously accused Trump of raping her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s, an allegation Trump has denied by calling Carroll a liar and directing numerous, highly personal attacks at her during and after his presidency. In May, a New York jury found Trump guilty of sexually abusing Carroll and defaming her in 2022 and determined that he owes her $5 million in damages. This time, a different New York jury made its ruling based on defamatory comments Trump made while he was president in 2019.
The $83.3 million is nearly 10 times what Carroll’s legal team was asking for (about $10 million). An expert testifying on Carroll’s behalf during the trial said the cost of repairing her reputation from the harm inflicted by Trump’s attacks could stand between $7 and $12 million.
To come up with the figure, the jury determined that Trump “should pay Carroll compensatory damages of $18.3 million—$11 million to fund a reputational repair campaign and $7.3 million for the emotional harm caused by Trump’s 2019 public statements,” according to CNN. Then, the jury said Trump owes Carroll another $65 million in punitive damages, as they determined that Trump acted maliciously in his previous statements about Carroll—statements that include calling her a “whack job” and disparaging her appearance by suggesting she wasn’t attractive enough for him to want to assault her (which… is not how sexual assault works).
Carroll reportedly hugged her lawyers after the verdict was read. Meanwhile, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan thanked the jurors for their services and advised them to “never disclose that you were on this jury.”
Trump, who had already left the court, has since responded to the verdict on Truth Social: “Absolutely ridiculous! I fully disagree with both verdicts, and will be appealing this whole Biden Directed Witch Hunt focused on me and the Republican Party. Our Legal System is out of control, and being used as a Political Weapon,” he wrote. “They have taken away all First Amendment Rights. THIS IS NOT AMERICA!””
Last week, Carroll testified that Trump’s comments about her during and after his presidency have subjected her to severe trauma and reputational damage. “To have the president of the United States, one of the most powerful persons on earth, call me a liar for three days and say it 26 times—I counted them—it ended the world I had been living in, and I lived in a new world,” she said. She also testified that she continues to receive frightening messages from Trump’s supporters. Meanwhile, Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, tried unsuccessfully to argue that Trump isn’t responsible for what his supporters say and do to Carroll and insisted that “all [Trump] did was tell his truth”—an argument that was stricken from the record, as Judge Kaplan said Trump’s already been found liable for defaming Carroll.
The verdict follows a contentious trial, which saw Judge Kaplan threaten to have Trump removed from the courtroom over his disruptive behavior last week. Shortly before the verdict, Trump walked out of the courtroom in particularly dramatic fashion while Carroll’s attorneys delivered closing arguments.
“We all have to follow the law,” Carroll’s attorney said on Friday. “Donald Trump, however, acts as if these rules and laws don’t apply to him.” Welp, the $83.3 million verdict presents a pretty big incentive for him to finally start following it.