E. Jean Carroll Seeks $10 Million in Damages Against Trump Over Latest Comments

E. Jean Carroll Seeks $10 Million in Damages Against Trump Over Latest Comments
A combined image featuring writer E. Jean Carroll and former U.S. President Donald Trump. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Mimi Nguyen Ly
5/23/2023
Updated:
6/13/2023
0:00

Writer E. Jean Carroll has sought to amend the first of her two defamation lawsuits against former President Donald Trump after he commented about her in a televised town hall event.

Carroll, 79, is now seeking $10 million in compensatory damages and is seeking to hold Trump liable for remarks he made after a grand jury found the former president liable in her second defamation lawsuit against him.

Carroll won $5 million on May 9 in her second defamation lawsuit—about $3 million for a defamation charge and about $2 million for a civil battery charge. The defamation charge was related to a statement Trump made on Truth Social in October 2022. In the latter charge, jurors determined that Trump, now 76, had sexually abused, but did not rape, Carroll.

In addition to the $10 million in compensatory damages, Carroll also seeks punitive damages in the first, now amended, lawsuit.

Lawyers for Carroll in the complaint accused Trump of having “doubled down” on derogatory remarks about Carroll when he appeared at the town hall event on CNN on May 10, just a day after the verdict.

“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 (pdf).

“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.”

Trump’s lead attorney in the case did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump issued a lengthy statement on May 23 in which he denied any allegations that he had sexually assaulted Carroll, and said that the lawsuit against him “is part of the Democrats playbook to tarnish my name and person.”

Original Defamation Suit Filed In 2019

The clash between the two started in 2019 when Carroll accused Trump of having raped her in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan in 1995 or 1996.
Trump denied Carroll’s allegations at the time, saying “she’s not my type.” In response, Carroll filed her first defamation lawsuit against him in November 2019 (pdf), citing those words and others. That lawsuit bounced around state, federal, and appellate courts in New York and Washington, D.C., without material consequences.

Up until Carroll’s amended complaint, her first lawsuit had been put on hold as an appeals court was deciding whether Trump was immune from being sued for remarks he made in 2019, when he was president.

Carroll filed her second defamation lawsuit on Nov. 24, 2022, under an amended state law in New York, which gives victims of certain sexual offenses a one-year window, beginning on Nov. 24, 2022, to file a civil lawsuit against alleged offenders—even if the statute of limitations had passed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Update: This article has been updated with a statement from former President Donald Trump.
Mimi Nguyen Ly covers U.S. and world news.
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