A federal jury in New York found that former President Donald Trump committed battery against E. Jean Carroll, a 79-year-old former columnist, and later defamed her while denying her claim that he raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s.
The jury in the civil trial rejected Carroll’s claims that Trump raped her.
The former president was ordered to pay a total of $5 million to Carroll, $2 million for battery and $3 for defamation.
The jury of six men and three women deliberated for a little over two and a half hours before returning their unanimous verdicts.
Carroll claimed that Trump asked her for help selecting a gift for a female friend after he encountered her inside the Bergdorf Goodman department in the mid-1990s. She told the jury that he eventually followed her into a dressing room after he asked her to try some clothes on and that he raped her.
Carroll claimed that the event impacted the rest of her life, saying: “It left me unable to ever have a romantic life again.”
Trump attorney Joe Tacopina told jurors in closing arguments that Carroll’s claims were not substantiated by the facts of the case.
“The facts in evidence made plain here that E. Jean Carroll’s story is not worthy of your belief, not even close,” he said. “Her story – and it’s just that, a story – is not true, she was not raped at Bergdorf Goodman’s. She was not defamed by being called out on making up that story.”
Judge Lewis Kaplan told the jurors they could identify themselves to the public if they wanted to now that the case was over but urged them not to.
“My advice to you is not to identify yourselves. Not now and not for a long time,” Kaplan said. “If you’re one who elects to speak to others and to identify yourselves to others, I direct you not to identify anyone else who sat on this jury. Each of you owes that to the other whatever you decided for yourself.”
Trump responded to the ruling on social media, writing: “I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN IS. THIS VERDICT IS A DISGRACE – A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!”
Trump’s team later released a statement saying that they are going to appeal the case, which they described as an effort from the Democratic Party to stop the former president’s 2024 campaign.
“Trump will never stop fighting for the American people, no matter what the radical Democrats dream up next,” the statement said. “This case will be appealed, and we will ultimately win.”
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