Trump defames E Jean Carroll yet again after she sues him over CNN town hall insults

A day after he was found liable for sexual assault and defamation, Donald Trump doubled down in disgraceful comments to a live CNN audience

Bevan Hurley
Tuesday 23 May 2023 15:15 BST
Protesters react outside court as Trump found reliable for sexual assault

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Louise Thomas

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Donald Trump launched a fresh defamatory attack on E Jean Carroll hours after her lawyers formally asked to amend her remaining defamation lawsuit against the ex-president to include his smears at a CNN town hall.

Ms Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan filed a proposed update to the $10m Manhattan civil court complaint on Monday to include comments made by Mr Trump after he was found liable for the sexual assault and defamation at a jury trial in New York.

Mr Trump made a perhaps unsurprising move in response, delivering a new compounded salvo via Truth Social on Tuesday morning.

“I don’t know E. Jean Carroll, I never met her or touched her (except on a celebrity line with her African American husband who she disgustingly called the ‘Ape,’),” he wrote. “I wouldn’t want to know or touch her, I never abused her or raped her or took her to a dressing room 25 years ago in a crowded department store where the doors are LOCKED, she has no idea when, or did anything else to her, except deny her Fake, Made Up Story, that she wrote in a book. IT NEVER HAPPENED, IS A TOTAL SCAM, UNFAIR TRIAL!”

Mr Trump has previously accused Ms Carroll of calling her husband “ape”, without any evidence.

His latest statement included some of the very same prior comments that Ms Kaplan cited in Monday’s filing.

“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’,” the proposed amended lawsuit states.

“Those statements resulted in enthusiastic cheers and applause from the audience on live TV,” the suit adds.

Ms Carroll sued the former president for defamation after he angrily denied allegations in her 2019 memoir that he had sexually assaulted her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in the 1990s.

In 2022, after New York opened a one-year window for survivors of sexual assault to sue their accusers regardless of when the alleged attacks occurred, Ms Carroll sued him in a separate lawsuit for battery and defamation.

On 9 May the jury deliberating over the second lawsuit awarded Ms Carroll $5m in damages after finding she had proved the case on a preponderous of evidence.

E Jean Carroll emerges triumphant from a Manhattan courthouse after she was awarded $5m from Donald Trump for sexual assault and battery
E Jean Carroll emerges triumphant from a Manhattan courthouse after she was awarded $5m from Donald Trump for sexual assault and battery (Associated Press)

Mr Trump has appealed the $5m jury verdict.

The day after the jury returned its verdict, Mr Trump appeared on a CNN town hall where he branded her sexual abuse claim against him “fake” and a “made up story”.

Ms Carroll told The New York Times in an interview that Mr Trump’s comments on CNN were “stupid, disgusting and vile”.

Ms Carroll’s initial defamation lawsuit, dubbed Carroll I, became bogged down in litigation after Mr Trump asked the Justice Department to defend him. The case is currently before a lower court, awaiting a possible trial date.

Her attorney Ms Kaplan on Monday said in the amended complaint that the ex-president “has sought to delay and evade these proceedings in every way he could”.

At trial, Ms Carroll testified that she was leaving Bergdorf Goodman when she had a chance encounter with Mr Trump some time in 1996.

The meeting was friendly at first, but Mr Trump later led her to a dressing room on the 6th floor luxury department store and shoved her up against a wall before violating her.

Ms Carroll told the jury that she had been fearful of speaking out about the assault, and only told two close friends.

Despite complaining that he was not receiving a fair trial, Mr Trump declined to give evidence on his own behalf.

Instead, the jury was played the infamous Access Hollywood tapes, in which he boasted that “stars” were able to get away with sexually assaulting women.

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