Trump to appeal E Jean Carroll $5m verdict after being found liable for sexual abuse

Appeal filed after Carroll says she may sue Trump for a third time for his ‘vile’ comments on CNN

Gustaf Kilander,Sravasti Dasgupta
Thursday 11 May 2023 22:40 BST
Donald Trump has labelled E. Jean Carroll a “wack job” after being found liable for sexual abuse

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Donald Trump is appealing the verdict in the E Jean Carroll case after he was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation.

Ms Carroll was awarded $5m earlier this week by the jury in the civil trial in Manhattan.

The appeal was filed not long after Judge Lewis Kaplan entered the jury’s verdict in the case, according to CNN.

Ms Carroll, an author and magazine journalist, claimed in the trial that Mr Trump raped her in a dressing room at the Berghof Goodman department store in the mid-1990s.

Mr Trump has consistently denied the allegation.

The Trump legal team filed the notice of appeal in the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday.

The notice was filed only hours after Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over the civil trial, wrote a ruling in support of the jury’s verdict, ordering the former president to pay the full $5m.

The Trump legal team previously indicated that they would appeal the case.

Ms Carroll argued that Mr Trump raped her and that he then defamed her when he rejected her claim and said she made up the story to sell books.

The jury awarded Ms Carroll about $2m for the civil battery claim in relation to the sexual assault and about $3m for the subsequent defamation. The jury didn’t find Mr Trump liable for rape.

While Ms Carroll testified extensively in the trial, Mr Trump didn’t attend.

The twice-impeached ex-president mocked Ms Carroll at the CNN town hall that aired just a day after the verdict.

The town hall has been criticised as divisive and even being “a volcano of bulls***” by commentators who accused the network of providing Mr Trump with a platform for airing several dubious claims.

Mr Trump described Ms Carroll as a “whack job” and called the trial “rigged”.

He was asked what he would tell voters who said the verdict disqualifies him from being president.

“Well there aren’t too many of them because my poll numbers just came out – they went up,” Mr Trump said to the crowd, which, according to CNN, was composed of Republicans and undecided voters.

The former president also called Ms Carroll’s allegations a “made-up story”.

I swear on my children, which I never do, I have no idea who this woman – this is a fake story, a made-up story,” he said.

Mocking her, he said he was too famous to hang around department stores.

Ms Carroll had told the jury in her testimony that she and Mr Trump had engaged in playful banter after a chance encounter at Bergdorf Goodman one evening in the mid-1990s.

But after taking an escalator up to a deserted 6th floor to look for lingerie, Mr Trump led her to a dressing room, pushed her up against a wall and sexually assaulted her, she claimed.

“I was very famous then and I owned the Plaza Hotel right next door and I owned the buildings around it – I’m not going into a dressing room of a crowded department store,” he said at the town hall.

He also reiterated claims he did not know Ms Carroll at all, and called the trial “rigged.”

“She wasn’t raped, OK? … And I didn’t do anything else either, OK, because I don’t know who the hell she is,” he said during the town hall, as the audience was heard laughing.

On Thursday, Ms Carroll told The New York Times that she may sue Mr Trump again after his “vile” comments on CNN.

Ms Carroll said that the former president’s comments were “just stupid, it’s just disgusting, vile, foul, it wounds people”.

Her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, told the paper that “Everything’s on the table, obviously, and we have to give serious consideration to it”.

“We have to weigh the various pros and cons and we’ll come to a decision in the next day or so, probably,” she added.

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