Defamation: Trump ordered to pay $83 million

For the second time, author E. Jean Carroll has sued Donald Trump for defamation – and for the second time was awarded compensation.

Former US President Donald Trump has been sentenced in a second libel trial to pay a further compensation of $83.3 million (around €77 million) to US author E. Jean Carroll. This was decided by a jury of seven men and two women after around two hours of deliberations at a court in New York. Trump acted “maliciously” with his comments about Carroll, according to the verdict, which was available to the dpa.

It was the 80-year-old US author’s second civil lawsuit against Trump. The sum is many times higher than the more than ten million dollars demanded by Carroll – and its size surprised many observers. For the ex-president, against whom several legal proceedings are currently underway, it is one of the clearest legal defeats to date. Carroll’s lawyers had argued that only a large sum of money could stop Trump from further verbally attacking the author.

“This is a great victory for every woman who stands up when she is pushed down and a great defeat for every bully who has tried to keep a woman down,” Carroll said after the decision was announced. Trump described the verdict as “absolutely ridiculous” on the online platform Truth Social, which he co-founded. His lawyer Alina Habba announced that she would appeal.

Carroll has already been awarded $5 million

At the end of the first trial in May, a New York jury found it proven that Trump had attacked Carroll in a luxury New York department store in 1996, sexually abused him and later slandered him. The jury then awarded the writer five million dollars (around 4.65 million euros) in compensation. Trump has also appealed this decision.

Before the start of the second trial, Judge Lewis Kaplan had ruled that Trump’s later comments were defamatory. The jury now only had to decide on the amount of compensation that Trump had to pay. The $83.3 million is made up of $7.3 million in compensatory damages, $11 million in compensatory damages for a program to repair the author’s reputation and $65 million in so-called punitive damages, which will punish the convict and deter him from the behavior in the future should.

Trump appeared in person several times in the second trial – unlike the first, which he did not even attend – and attracted attention through numerous commenting opinions, which is why the judge had threatened to exclude him in the meantime. During the closing arguments on Friday, Trump even unexpectedly left the room temporarily without first asking the judge for permission. Trump’s lawyer Habba also repeatedly clashed with Judge Kaplan.

Trump uses court dates as a campaign event

The 77-year-old Trump is considered the Republicans’ most promising candidate in the November presidential election. However, he currently has to deal with the courts in numerous different cases. Trump often uses the court dates as a kind of campaign event.

His competitor in the bid for the Republican presidential nomination, Nikki Haley, also used the ruling for her campaign. “Donald Trump wants to be the presumptive Republican nominee and we are talking about $83 million in damages,” Haley wrote on the online platform X, formerly Twitter. “America can do better than Donald Trump and Joe Biden.”