E. Jean Carroll adds Trump's post-verdict remarks to defamation case, seeks at least $10M
Associated Press May 23, 2023
NEW YORK — E. Jean Carroll, the advice columnist who won a $5 million sexual abuse and defamation award against former President Donald Trump, is seeking at least $10 million more in a court filing Monday that seeks to hold him liable for remarks he made after the verdict.
The amended lawsuit was filed in Manhattan by Carroll's lawyers, who said Trump "doubled down" on derogatory remarks about the former Elle magazine columnist during a cable television appearance a day after the verdict.
"It is hard to imagine defamatory conduct that could possibly be more motivated by hatred, ill will, or spite," they wrote of Trump's remarks at a CNN town hall. "This conduct supports a very substantial punitive damages award in Carroll's favor both to punish Trump, to deter him from engaging in further defamation, and to deter others from doing the same."
A nine-person jury two weeks ago decided Trump had sexually abused Carroll at an upscale Manhattan department store in early spring 1996. It also found that Trump had made false statements that damaged her reputation after she went public with her allegations in a 2019 book.
Carroll testified during the trial that Trump raped her in a department store dressing room. Trump, who is campaigning for the presidency, did not attend the trial or testify.
The jury decided Carroll hadn't proved she had been raped, but found that Trump had sexually abused her. Trump continues to deny that the attack happened. He said Carroll made up the allegation to help sell her book.
Joe Tacopina, a Trump lawyer, declined to comment on the new legal claim.
Carroll defamation claims against Trump have proceeded in two separate lawsuits, one decided in the trial that just concluded, and another that previously dealt only with derogatory remarks that Trump made in 2019 while he was still president.
That lawsuit, which has been tied up in still-unresolved legal appeals, is the one to which Carroll, 79, has added her new claims.
Carroll's lawyers asked for a speedy resolution "while she remains in good health and before Donald Trump's time and attention are consumed entirely by his presidential campaign."
A spokesperson for the U.S. government lawyers declined to comment.
Carroll's lawyers added that "Trump was motivated by purely personal reasons, rather than presidential or official reasons," saying he "implied that Carroll was too ugly for him to sexually assault, falsely stated that Carroll had previously lodged fake allegations of sexual misconduct against other men, and invented a baseless narrative that Carroll fabricated her accusation for money, to promote a book, or to further a political conspiracy — without possessing or pointing to one iota of support for those claims."
In the new claim, Carroll's lawyers said Trump, "undeterred by the jury's verdict, persisted in maliciously defaming Carroll yet again" at the CNN event.
"He doubled down on his prior defamatory statements, asserting to an audience all too ready to cheer him on that 'I never met this woman. I never saw this woman,' that he did not sexually assault Carroll, and that her account — which had just been validated by a jury of Trump's peers one day before — was a 'fake,' 'made up story' invented by a 'whack job.' Those statements resulted in enthusiastic cheers and applause from the audience on live TV," the lawyers wrote.
They added: "Trump used a national platform to demean and mock Carroll. He egged on a laughing audience as he made light of his violent sexual assault, called Carroll names, implied that Carroll was asking to be assaulted, and dismissed the jury's verdict vindicating Carroll."