UPDATED with Trump response: After just three hours of deliberations, a New York jury today said Donald Trump has to pay E. Jean Carroll more than $83 million in her defamation trial against the former president.
Of that impressive $83.3 million, $65 million is punitive damages and $11 million is for harm to the former Elle columnist’s reputation.
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“I fully disagree with both verdicts, and will be appealing this whole Biden Directed Witch Hunt focused on me and the Republican Party,” a self pitying Trump said soon afterwards on social media. “This is not America,” Trump added on his Truth Social platform in words he was heard to mumble yesterday and similar to what the now incarcerated Harvey Weinstein said when he was found guilty of rape in 2020 by another Manhattan jury
Trump himself was not present for the decision from the seven man and two women jury Friday. A constant attendee for the trial, Trump even briefly took the stand yesterday. However, the ex-Celebrity Apprentice host left the Manhattan courthouse about 45 minutes ago to head to La Guardia airport for a campaign event in Nevada on Saturday. After big wins in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, Trump has pretty much sewn up the GOP nomination for a general election re-match with Joe Biden.
While not a huge dent in self-declared billionaire Trump’s wallet, Friday’s verdict is, in the words of CNN’s Jake Tapper this afternoon, “quite a chunk of change.” That chuck of change will be appealed, but overturning the overwhelming decision could prove difficult for Team Trump.
Along with CNN, both MSNBC and Fox News were all over today’s verdict with live commentary and shots from the NYC courthouse. Fox’s Neil Cavuto made a point of remarking that it was a “unanimous jury” verdict. He also noted that Trump’s attorneys have recommended the leading GOP candidate, who has used the various court cases against him as campaign backdrops, keep quiet – and can Trump comply? Fox being Fox, the Rupert Murdoch-owned outlet soon moved on to a partisan discussion over the southern border with its high rated The Five team.
Facing results in his other cases, the much indicted Trump was found liable in May 2023 of sexual abusing and defaming Carroll. Back in May, that jury awarded the former Elle columnist $5 million out of her claim that the then real estate mogul sexually assaulted her in a Bergdorf Goodman change room in the mid-1990s. Ever since the allegations of that attack came to light in 2019, an innocence pleading Trump has continued to attack and demean Carroll in and out of the White House. With this case decided today being about what Trump literally said from the Chief Executive bully pulpit, Carroll long claimed the then POTUS’ defaming remarks put her in danger and ruined her reputation.
As he did yesterday just before a taking the stand for a scant few minutes, Trump has long insisted he has never met Carroll, she is “not my type,” and has no idea who she. Not exactly the strongest rebukes when there are photographs of them talking and laughing together at a 1987 party. Not exactly the strongest rebuke when in a deposition in the first case Trump mistook a photo of Carroll for that of his second wife Marla Maples.
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