Federal judge rejects Trump’s latest bid to drop $83.3M E. Jean Carroll defamation ruling

Federal judge rejects Trump’s latest bid to drop $83.3M E. Jean Carroll defamation ruling

A federal judge rejected former President Trump’s latest attempt for a new trial, upholding the verdict and $83.3 million award in his defamation case against writer E. Jean Carroll.

In a written opinion, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said Trump’s arguments are “without merit.”

“Mr. Trump’s malicious and unceasing attacks on Ms. Carroll were disseminated to more than 100 million people. They included public threats and personal attacks, and they endangered Ms. Carroll’s health and safety,” Kaplan wrote.

A jury in January ordered him to pay $83.3 million to Carroll after Kaplan found he was liable for defamation. Last month, Trump demanded that he receive a new trial.

Carroll came forward with accusations that the former president sexually assaulted her in the 1990s, prompting the statements from Trump.

In his opinion, Kaplan said the jury was entitled to find the degree of reprehensibility of Trump’s actions on social media were high. He also said Trump’s actions during trial, including when he walked out of her closing arguments, warrant the idea that he would not stop defaming her unless there was a “significant deterrent,” like a fine.

“Far from being purely ‘defensive,’ there was evidence that Mr. Trump used the office of the presidency ­— the loudest ‘bully pulpit’ in America and possibly the world — to issue multiple statements castigating Ms. Carroll as a politically and financially motivated liar, insinuating that she was too unattractive for him to have sexually assaulted, and threatening that she would ‘pay dearly’ for speaking out,” the judge wrote.

In a statement, Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, said she is pleased with the judge’s decision but not surprised.

“As the Court explained, it was entirely reasonable for the jury to award E. Jean Carroll $83 million in damages given Donald Trump’s continued defamation of Ms. Carroll during the trial itself, as well as his conduct in the courtroom where his ‘hatred and disdain [were] on full display,’” she said.

The Hill has reached out to Trump’s team for comment.

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