A New York court has verdicted Donald Trump should pay $83.3m (£65m) for defaming columnist E Jean Carroll in 2019 while he was US president.
In a significant legal development, former President Donald Trump has been ordered to pay $83.3 million in a defamation case brought by E. Jean Carroll. This includes $18.3 million in compensatory damages and $65 million in punitive damages.
The jury’s decision follows a previous civil case where Trump was found to have defamed and sexually assaulted Ms. Carroll in the 1990s. Trump has vehemently denied the allegations and has pledged to appeal the latest ruling, denouncing it as a “witch hunt.”
Details of the Verdict
The jury, composed of seven men and two women, deliberated for less than three hours before reaching a verdict.
The compensatory damages aim to address the harm inflicted on Ms. Carroll’s reputation and emotional well-being. The punitive damages serve as a deterrent to prevent Trump from making further defamatory statements against her.
Trump’s Reaction and Planned Appeal
Trump, likely to be the Republican candidate in the upcoming presidential election, decried the verdict, labeling it “absolutely ridiculous” and part of a broader “Biden Directed Witch Hunt.”
He reiterated his denial of any wrongdoing and announced his intention to appeal. Trump contended that the legal system is being weaponized for political purposes, claiming a suppression of First Amendment rights.
Carroll’s Response and Legal Significance
E. Jean Carroll hailed the verdict as a victory for women who stand up against injustice.
Her attorney, Robbie Kaplan, emphasized that the decision demonstrates the applicability of the law to everyone, including public figures. Carroll’s case has broader implications, contributing to the ongoing discussions about accountability for powerful individuals and the boundaries of free speech.
Trump’s Legal Challenges
Beyond this civil case, Trump is facing four criminal cases involving a total of 91 felony counts. He stands as the first president in U.S. history to face criminal charges.
While consistently pleading not guilty and denying all charges, Trump’s legal battles continue to unfold, shaping the legal landscape surrounding former presidents.
The multimillion-dollar verdict against Trump in the defamation case underscores the complex legal challenges he faces.
As he positions himself for potential political endeavors, the legal outcomes will not only impact his personal standing but also set precedents for the accountability of public figures in defamation cases.