Donald Trump has been handed a hefty bill of $83.3 million for casting defamatory shadows upon writer E. Jean Carroll, according to a Friday afternoon verdict from an anonymous federal jury comprised of seven men and two women.
This judgment, reached after almost three hours of deliberations, unfolded in the theater of a civil trial. The trial sought to unravel the question of how much, if anything, the ex-president should shell out as retribution for besmirching Carroll in 2019 and vehemently denying allegations of sexual assault dating back to the 1990s.
This isn’t Trump‘s first legal tango. A prior civil trial last spring had already declared him culpable for sexual abuse and defamation, slapping him with a $5 million damages bill. However, this recent trial squarely honed in on the defamatory rhetoric he unleashed in 2019.
Carroll’s legal squadron, orchestrating their strategy this month, contended that their client deserved a cool $24 million. This hefty sum was earmarked not only to mend the emotional scars inflicted but also to patch up the dents to her once-pristine reputation.
In a courtroom denouement, attorney Shawn Crowley delivered a stinging rebuke in closing arguments, asserting, “Ladies and gentleman, this isn’t a campaign rally. It’s not a press event. It’s a court of law and Miss Carroll’s life. Donald Trump sexually assaulted her. He defamed her. He is not the victim.”
The Manhattan jury, with a judicial flourish, bestowed upon Carroll a financial trove — $18.3 million in compensatory damages, $11 million for reputation refurbishment, and an additional $7.3 million for the emotional tumult triggered by Trump’s injurious statements, as per CNN reports.
The coup de grâce was a resounding $65 million, earmarked as punitive damages, a stern rebuke for purportedly wielding malicious intent when uttering those defamatory words.
Post-verdict, Judge Lewis Kaplan, a recurrent target of Trump’s social media crosshairs, bequeathed a sagacious nugget to the undisclosed jurors: “My advice to you is that you never disclose that you were on this jury, and I won’t say anything more about it.”
Unsurprisingly, Trump, ever the pugnacious figure, swiftly decried the verdict on his Truth Social platform, dismissing it as “absolutely ridiculous” and vowing to mount an appeal against what he perceives as a legal overreach.