Donald Trump must pay an additional $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll

Law Review

A jury awarded $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll on Friday in a stinging and expensive rebuke to former President Donald Trump for his continued social media attacks against the longtime advice columnist over her claims that he sexually assaulted her in a Manhattan department store.

The award, coupled with a $5 million sexual assault and defamation verdict last year from another jury in a case brought by Carroll, raised to $88.3 million what Trump must pay her. Protesting vigorously, he said he would appeal.

Carroll, 80, clutched her lawyers’ hands and smiled as the seven-man, two-woman anonymous jury delivered its verdict. Minutes later, she shared a weepy three-way hug with her attorneys.

She declined comment as she left the Manhattan federal courthouse, but issued a statement later through a publicist, saying, “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.”

Trump had attended the trial earlier in the day, but stormed out of the courtroom during closing arguments by Carroll’s attorney. He returned for his own attorney’s closing argument and for a portion of the deliberations, but left the courthouse a half hour before the verdict was read.

“Absolutely ridiculous!” he said in a statement shortly afterward. “Our Legal System is out of control, and being used as a Political Weapon.”

His attorney, Alina Habba, said the verdict resulted because Trump’s opponents were suing “in states where they know they will get juries like this.”

“It will not deter us. We will keep fighting. And, I assure you, we didn’t win today, but we will win,” she said.

The trial reached its conclusion as Trump marches toward winning the Republican presidential nomination a third consecutive time. He has sought to turn his various trials and legal vulnerabilities into an advantage, portraying them as evidence of a weaponized political system.

Though there’s no evidence that President Joe Biden or anyone in the White House has influenced any of the legal cases against him, Trump’s line of argument has resonated with his most loyal supporters, who view the proceedings with skepticism.

Nikki Haley, his last major rival in the Republican primaries, said on social media Friday that the verdict meant that people were “talking about $83 million in damages” rather than fixing the border or inflation.

With the Carroll civil case behind him, Trump still faces 91 criminal charges in four indictments accusing him of trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election, mishandling classified documents and arranging payoffs to a porn star.

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