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Judge warns Trump jurors in E Jean Carroll trial to never reveal themselves

Judge Lewis Kaplan purposefully did not disclose why he advised jurors to keep their identities secret in the high profile case

Ariana Baio,Gustaf Kilander
Friday 26 January 2024 22:56 GMT
Related video: Trump storms out of court

After the verdict was read in the defamation trial between writer E Jean Carroll and former president Donald Trump, the judge overseeing the trial suggested the jurors never reveal their identities.

At the end of the two-week trial, the jurors, who were purposefully made anonymous due to the high-profile nature of the case, are now free to identify themselves by name if they wish.

“My advice to you is that you never disclose that you were on this jury,” Judge Lewis Kaplan advised them in the courtroom.

Judge Kaplan did not explicitly explain why he was offering the advice, however, previous legal actions against the ex-president have led to threats of violence against both jurors and judges from Trump supporters.

The jury of nine spent the last two weeks hearing arguments in the second trial between Ms Carroll and Mr Trump. After approximately three hours of deliberations, the jury ordered Mr Trump to pay $83.3m in damages to Ms Carroll after he repeatedly rejected her claim that he sexually assaulted her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s.

The trial comes after a similar one last year where a jury found Mr Trump liable for sexually abusing Ms Carroll and defaming her. This trial was only to decide on the amount of damages Mr Trump owed Ms Carroll.

E Jean Carroll and her attorney Roberta Kaplan (Ariana Baio)

The jury was composed of two women and seven men, who reached a unanimous verdict on Friday afternoon, awarding Ms Carroll $18.3m in compensatory damages as well as $65m in punitive damages.

These damages are in addition to the previous jury’s decision to award Ms Carroll $5m in compensatory and punitive damages.

Lashing out on Truth Social, Mr Trump said the proceedings were “Absolutely ridiculous!”

E Jean Carroll and her legal team leave court after a jury awarded her $83m in defamation damages in the case she brought against Donald Trump (Ariana Baio)

“I fully disagree with both verdicts and will be appealing this whole Biden Directed Witch Hunt focused on me and the Republican Party. Our Legal System is out of control, and being used as a Political Weapon. They have taken away all First Amendment Rights. THIS IS NOT AMERICA!” he claimed, despite there being no evidence that President Joe Biden has directed the Department of Justice to target Mr Trump.

The trial lasted two weeks in a Manhattan federal court, during which Mr Trump’s attorneys aggressively litigated the case while the former president went after Ms Carroll during press conferences and on Truth Social, potentially defaming her further.

Attorneys for Ms Carroll asked the jury to award the former Elle writer an “unusually high” amount of damages when taking into consideration Mr Trump’s intent in defaming Ms Carroll, his continuation in defaming her and his net worth.

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