Donald Trump has been fined $88.3 million for defamation. what happens next?


NEW YORK (AP) — Over the years, Donald Trump insulted E. Jean CarrollSaying that the advice is fabricated by the columnist sexual harassment allegation To sell a book against him.

Will Trump continue this, now that he has been attacked? $83.3 million defamation verdict?

On Friday, a jury found that Trump maliciously harmed Carroll's reputation after she went public with his allegations in 2019. Jurors awarded her $18 million to compensate her for the personal damages she suffered, then added another $65 million to punish Trump — and perhaps deter him from going after her on social media.

a different jury concluded last May that Trump was responsible for sexually abusing Carroll in a dressing room at a Manhattan department store in 1996. Those jurors awarded Carroll $5 million. If both rulings are proven correct, Trump would be owed a total of $88.3 million.

Trump and his lawyers have promised to appeal.

A look at the judgment and where the case could go from here:

Table of Contents

Blame

Carroll said she was shopping at the Bergdorf Goodman store on Fifth Avenue in 1996 when she met Trump, who lived nearby. She said they recognized each other. At the time, Carroll had a column in Elle magazine and was the host of a cable TV talk show called "Ask E. Jean."

In court testimony and in her memoir, Carroll said that she and Trump went to the store's lingerie section and then to the dressing room as each tried to convince the other to try on lacy items. When they walked into the dressing room, she said, Trump pushed her into the wall, pulled down her underwear and sexually assaulted her. Carroll said she broke free and ran away.

After writing about the alleged encounter in 2019, Trump, who was by then president-elect, told reporters that he did not know who Carroll was, that her allegation was "completely false" and that he wanted to sell books. Was inspired by.

first test

Carroll sued Trump for defamation in 2019, saying his statements about her were false and damaged her reputation. The claim was entangled for years over the legal question of whether, by denying the allegations, Trump was fulfilling his duties as president. Trump claimed the presidency protects him from liability Against defamation case.

In the meantime, New York changed its law Giving survivors of sexual abuse a new opportunity to bring civil lawsuits over attacks that occurred in the distant past. Carroll was one of the first people to take advantage, filing a new legal claim against Trump alleging that he raped her. She also filed a lawsuit over things said about him after he left the White House.

Trump was not charged criminally. However, the civil verdict has led many people to mistakenly believe that Carroll was convicted of sexual assault. Under state law, too much time had passed to consider a criminal case against Trump after the alleged assault in 1996.

A jury heard testimony in that trial last year and found that while Carroll had not proven she was raped, under New York’s definition of that crime, Trump had sexually assaulted her.

The jury awarded Carroll $2 million for misconduct and nearly $3 million for Trump’s public comments about him, which were defamatory — and therefore not protected free speech.

second test

After the main legal issues were resolved, one matter remained: whether Carroll was also harmed by Trump's comments while he was still in the White House.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ruled that a new trial would be required to decide that claim, but that trial was not required to revisit the issue of whether Trump assaulted Carroll. The things he said about her were defamatory. The trial will decide how much, if anything, Trump owes for what he said about Carroll on June 21–22, 2019.

Trump and his lawyers are upset that he didn't get a chance to make a new argument that he was innocent, but Kaplan said they have already lost that battle.

"It's a very well-established legal principle in this country that prevents frustrated litigants from having to drop a case," Kaplan told lawyers on the day Trump testified in the second trial. “He lost it and he obliged. And the jury will be instructed that, no matter what he says here in court today, as far as they are concerned, he has done so. This is the law.”

What will happen next?

Trump's legal team is appealing the verdict in the first case and has promised to appeal the second case as well.

“This will not stop us. We will keep fighting. And I assure you, we don't win today, but we will win,” Trump attorney Alina Habba said.

Among other things, her team wants higher courts to rule that Trump was within his rights to forcefully deny Carroll's allegations and suggest he had ulterior motives.

“Everyone has the right to defend themselves,” Habba said.

Trump's lawyers are also objecting to Kaplan's ruling that the jury in the second trial is not required to reconsider whether Trump was liable for sexual assault, and that Trump's lawyers can limit what they say to the jury. Were, it was wrongly limited by the judge.

Appeals will go to a panel of judges in New York. Appeals may ultimately reach the U.S. Supreme Court for the justices' consideration.

Trump, meanwhile, has put more than $5.5 million into an escrow account to potentially cover the costs of the first judgment while the appeal plays out.

What if Trump continues to publicly say Carroll made it up?

Carroll could bring a new lawsuit for each new comment. Potentially, new trials would have to be held in which juries could weigh additional damages.

The $88.3 million verdict against Trump is actually less than what some of his supporters have faced in recent defamation cases.

Last year a jury decided this Rudy GiulianiTwo former Georgia election workers owe $148 million for spreading a conspiracy theory about the former New York City mayor and Trump ally who tried to keep the then-president in power after he lost the 2020 election. Was. Juries in Texas and Connecticut have struck down InfoWars host Alex Jones With a $1.5 billion defamation verdict for promoting a false claim that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax.

Unlike Giuliani and Jones, Trump may have the financial resources to deliver a major decision. They reported having approximately $294 million in cash or cash equivalents in their most recent annual financial statement for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. This is in addition to the value of his real estate assets, which Trump has claimed are worth billions of dollars. ,

Still, Trump faces other potential financial liabilities. He is awaiting a verdict in a civil fraud lawsuit, where New York state has asked him to forfeit $370 million, which authorities say came from loans and deals made using financial statements improperly processed. In which his wealth was overstated.



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