Former President Donald Trump could face an additional $10 million in damages in a defamation case filed by writer E. Jean Carroll for having “doubled down” on remarks made about her during a town hall event on CNN.
A federal jury in New York found Trump liable on May 9 of committing battery against Carroll and later defaming her when he vociferously denied her claim that he raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s. The defamation lawsuit involved Trump’s comments from a Truth Social post in October 2022, referring to Carroll’s allegations as a “complete con job” and saying that she “is not my type.”
Nine members of a civil trial jury ordered Trump to pay $5 million to Carroll in damages — taking just two and half hours of deliberation to reach the unanimous verdict — two weeks ago.
Attorneys representing Carroll, 79, proposed amendments on Monday to the first of her two defamation lawsuits against Trump, which would hold the former president liable for remarks made at a CNN broadcast on May 10.
“Trump’s defamatory statements post-verdict show the depth of his malice toward Carroll since it is hard to imagine defamatory conduct that could possibly be more motivated by hatred, ill will, or spite,” the lawyers wrote in the complaint. “This conduct supports a very substantial punitive damages award in Carroll’s favor both to punish Trump, to deter him from engaging in further defamation, and to deter others from doing the same.”
During the town hall, the former president called the verdict a “fake story” and denied he knew Carroll.
“She’s a whack job,” Trump said, adding, “What kind of a woman meets somebody and brings them up, and within minutes you’re playing hanky-panky in a dressing room.”
Trump continued to deny the accusation in a Truth Social post on Tuesday, claiming the Carroll case is “part of the Democrats playbook to tarnish” his name and likeness.
“It is being funded and tried by Democrat operatives, although this was denied by them, and when they got caught in the lie, the Clinton appointed judge would not let us use it in trial,” Trump said. “Time will prove him to be highly partisan & very unfair. Where’s the dress she said she had?”
According to Reuters, attorneys for Carroll said in a letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan on Monday that because “Trump’s alleged defamatory statements were essentially the same, the only open issues are whether he was immune for making the first statement, and if not what damages he owes.”
Attorneys for Trump filed a notice of appeal in New York on May 11, contesting the federal jury’s verdict that found him liable for committing battery and defamation.