Donald Trump found liable for sexual abuse, defamation, ordered to pay writer E Jean Carroll $5mn

Adhya Moona
Adhya MoonaMay 10, 2023 | 13:15

Donald Trump found liable for sexual abuse, defamation, ordered to pay writer E Jean Carroll $5mn

Trump said he has no idea who E Jean Carroll is and called the verdict a disgrace. (Photo: Getty Images)

A New York jury on Tuesday (May 9) found former US president Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing and then defaming writer E Jean Carroll. The nine-member jury ordered Trump to pay Carroll $5 million in damages.

The jury found that Trump sexually abused the magazine writer in the 1990s and then defamed her by branding her a liar. It is a big blow for Trump as he campaigns to retake office in 2024.

E Jean Carroll leaves after her civil trial against Donald Trump. Photo: Getty Images

A split verdict

  • The verdict was split as jurors rejected Carroll’s claim that she was raped, finding Trump responsible for a lesser degree of sexual abuse, reported the Associated Press.
  • Jurors also found Trump liable for defaming Carroll over her allegations. The former President did not attend the civil trial and was absent when the verdict was read.
  • Carroll's allegations had been brushed off by Trump for years.The verdict was announced three hours after deliberations had begun. After listening to the verdict, Carroll, 79, was seen laughing and crying, hugged her supporters.

Trump' response

  • After the verdict, Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social expressing his anger. He said he has no idea who E Jean Carroll is and called the verdict a disgrace. He wrote: "I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN IS. THIS VERDICT IS A DISGRACE – A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!"

  • Joseph Tacopina, who was Trump's lawyer, told reporters that the jury's rejection of Carroll's rape claim while finding Trump liable for sexual abuse was "perplexing" and "strange".
Protesters held up signs outside Manhattan Federal Court after the jury found former President responsible for sexually abusing E Jean Carroll. Photo: Getty Images

What was the case?

  • Carroll in her statement said that she sued Trump to "“clear my name and to get my life back. Today, the world finally knows the truth. This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed.”
  • Apart from Carroll, many women have accused the ex-President on the ground of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
  • In her memoir in 2019, Carroll, went public with her claim that Trump had raped her in the dressing room of a high-end Manhattan department store in 1996.
  • However, Trump has continuously insisted that he did not know her and denies these allegations, and that he never met Carroll at that store. He went on to say that she was a "nut job" and that this was a "a fraudulent and false story" for Carroll to sell her memoir.

Trump's legal troubles

  • Trump had became the first ex-President of the US to surrender and be placed under arrest on April 4. He was charged with 34 counts of felony as he appeared in Manhattan court.
  • In the Carroll case, jurors also heard from two other women who claimed that they were sexually attacked by Trump.
  • Jessica Leeds: 81 year-old Jessica Leeds said that Trump groped her against her will on an airline flight in 1979.
  • Natasha Stoynoff: A writer, Natasha Stoynoff said he forcibly kissed her while she was interviewing him in 2005, she was working on a story about his marriage for People Magazine.
  • The jury also saw the 2005 "Access Hollywood" where he made vulgar comments about women and the recording had the American businessman talking about kissing and grabbing women without their permission.
  • Trump is also fighting a New York criminal case, where Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has charged him, his family and his business over alleged financial wrongdoing of paying hush money to adult film star, Stormy Daniels.
  • US Capitol Attack, January 2021: Following the defeat of Trump in the 2020 Presidential elections, a mob of his supporters and right-wing extremists had attacked the United States Capitol in Washington, DC. Many members of Congress and investigators blamed Trump for inciting and fueling this attack. 
  • Mar-a-Lago Documents: The US Justice Department and FBI investigators were investigating if top-secret confidential documents from the White House were mishandled when they were delivered at Trump's Florida home, Mar-a-Lago.

All the lawsuits against the Republican politician come at a time when he is gearing up for his 2024 Presidential campaign. What's next for Donald Trump?

Last updated: May 10, 2023 | 13:15
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