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Donald Trump slammed with $83.3mn penalty for defaming E. Jean Carroll

Donald Trump condemned New York jury’s decision as “ridiculous” and expressed his intention to appeal

Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower for Manhattan federal court for the second defamation trial against him, in New York City on Jan. 17, 2024. — AFP

A New York jury has directed former US President Donald Trump to pay an astounding $83.3 million in compensation to writer E. Jean Carroll. 

The swift and resounding decision, delivered in a federal court, surpassed Carroll’s initial defamation damages claim of $10 million. The jury’s verdict, which included $65 million in punitive damages, underscores the severity of Trump’s actions and their impact on Carroll.

This case originated from Carroll’s allegations of sexual assault against Donald Trump in 1996, which a federal jury found him liable for last year. The recent verdict adds a new layer to Trump’s legal entanglements, including criminal cases related to the 2020 presidential election results and a civil business fraud case. 

The ongoing legal battles have become integral to Trump’s narrative as he campaigns for a return to the White House in the upcoming November election.

Donald Trump, absent during the announcement, condemned the decision as “ridiculous” and expressed his intention to appeal. His lawyer, Alina Habba, sought to have the case dismissed, arguing that threatening messages targeting Carroll began on social media before Trump’s 2019 comments. The judge denied the request, ensuring that the jury’s focus remained on the substantial damages awarded to Carroll.

During the trial, Trump briefly took the stand, vehemently denying any instruction to harm Carroll through his statements. Judge Lewis Kaplan imposed restrictions, limiting Trump’s responses to yes or no answers to prevent potential disparagement of the court or Carroll. 

Donald Trump’s discontent was palpable as he left the courtroom, declaring, “This is not America.” 

Despite not being obliged to attend or testify, Trump strategically leveraged the case to garner media coverage and reinforce his claims of victimisation.

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