Trump loses retrial bid in E Jean Carroll defamation case
Defamation and sexual abuse of columnist E Jean Carroll were found liable by a jury in a civil case in which Donald Trump requested a new trial.
Based on the jury’s verdict, Trump argued that the jury’s award was excessive, which the judge agreed.
According to the judge, the 9 May jury verdict did not constitute a “miscarriage of justice”.
According to the former president, this case is part of a political witch hunt.
Carroll, 79, had accused Trump of raping her in a Manhattan department store dressing room in the mid-1990s and then branded the incident a hoax on his Truth Social platform in October 2022. Despite finding Mr Trump guilty of battering the columnist, the jury did not find him guilty of rape.
A new trial was requested by Mr Trump’s attorneys because the jury found that contrary to Plaintiff’s claim of rape, the defendant sexually abused her during the 1995/1996 Bergdorf Goodman incident, which caused the court to order a new trial on damages or grant remittitur.”
The US District Judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed Mr Trump’s request for a new trial in a 59-page decision released on Wednesday. He ruled the jury did not reach a “seriously erroneous result” in calculating damages.
During the original trial, Judge Kaplan wrote that the evidence demonstrated Mr Trump had “raped” Ms Carroll in the plain sense of the word.
“This does not mean that Ms Carroll failed to prove that Mr Trump ‘raped’ her in the sense that many people understand the word ‘rape’,” wrote Judge Kaplan. The jury found exactly that, as demonstrated by the evidence at trial described below.
A statement shared with the BBC by Roberta Kaplan, the lawyer representing E Jean Carroll, celebrated the decision of Judge Kaplan.
Ms Kaplan said Carroll looks forward to receiving the $5 million in damages she was awarded by the jury.
In a further defamation trial scheduled to begin early next year, her client looks forward to “holding Trump accountable.”
Defamatory statements made by Mr Trump in 2019 have prompted Ms Carroll to sue him for $10m (£7.7m).
Because he was president when he made the remarks, the US Justice Department initially ruled that Mr Trump was not legally liable for the lawsuit.
Earlier this month, federal attorneys said they did not have “sufficient basis” to conclude that Mr Trump was acting within the scope of his duties.
In an effort to get a comment from Mr Trump’s lawyers, the BBC has contacted them.
Former president Trump is facing a series of legal challenges, including a possible indictment for his role in the January 6 uprising and criminal charges in New York relating to a hush-money payment.
On Wednesday, a New York judge rejected the former president’s request to move an upcoming trial to federal court in the hush-money case.
Trump faces felony charges in New York for falsifying business records over a reimbursement to his lawyer for paying porn star Stormy Daniels.
Those charges have been pleaded not guilty to, and a trial has been scheduled for March 2024.
In his defense, Mr Trump said that the alleged crimes occurred while he was president, thus calling for the court to move the trial to federal court. Mr Trump, however, failed to demonstrate that his conduct was related to “any act by or for the President”, according to District Judge Alvin Hellerstein.