American Court Drops the Hammer: Donald Trump Slapped with $83.3M Fine in Sexual Assault Defamation Case

A federal civil jury on Friday ruled that former President Donald Trump must pay advice columnist E. Jean Carroll an astonishing $83.3 million for defaming her in 2019. This was when he denied her accusations of sexual assault and asserted that “people should pay dearly for such false accusations.” Carroll’s legal team had sought substantial damages from the anonymous nine-person jury, and the outcome was striking: $18.3 million in compensatory damages and $65 million in punitive damages. The jury, after three hours of deliberation following a multi-day trial with testimony and arguments, delivered this verdict. Trump, who left the Manhattan courtroom before the verdict was announced, expressed frustration on social media and pledged to appeal the jury’s decision.

On Truth Social, he wrote, “Absolutely ridiculous! I fully disagree with both verdicts, and will be appealing this whole Biden Directed Witch Hunt focused on me and the Republican Party.” Carroll, smiling as the verdict was revealed, commented, “This is a great victory for every woman who stands up when she’s been knocked down, and a huge defeat for every bully who has tried to keep a woman down.” Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Trump’s remaining rival for the Republican presidential nomination, used the verdict to criticize the former president just four weeks before their faceoff in her home state’s GOP primary. She wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “Donald Trump wants to be the presumptive Republican nominee, and we’re talking about $83 million in damages.

We’re not talking about fixing the border. We’re not talking about tackling inflation. America can do better than Donald Trump and Joe Biden.” Carroll’s lead counsel, Roberta Kaplan, had requested a minimum of $24 million in compensatory damages from the jury, emphasizing that Trump should face unspecified but substantial punitive damages to deter him. The $18.3 million in compensatory damages included $11 million for a public relations campaign to restore Carroll’s reputation and $7.3 million for pain and suffering. Stephanie Grisham, Trump’s former White House press secretary, remarked, “This is a huge day for E. Jean Carroll, but also for victims of sexual abuse everywhere.” This new defamation award is in addition to the $5 million Trump was previously directed to pay Carroll after a jury found last May that he had sexually abused and defamed her in 2022.

The recent verdict specifically addresses Trump’s initial denials in 2019 after Carroll went public with her rape allegations against him. Throughout the trial, Trump made 17 posts on Truth Social, totaling nearly 750 words, criticizing the case, attacking Carroll’s credibility, and questioning the judge’s impartiality. The jury’s decision marks a significant moment, with Carroll’s lawyers emphasizing that it demonstrates that the law applies to everyone, including former presidents. Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, declared an intention to appeal the verdict, highlighting that they were stripped of every defense and asserting Trump’s commitment to challenging the ruling.