Donald Trump ordered to pay E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million, will appeal verdict

NEW YORK, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Donald Trump was handed a stinging defeat on Friday by a Manhattan jury that ordered him to pay $83.3 million to the writer E. Jean Carroll, who said he destroyed her reputation as a trustworthy journalist by denying he raped her nearly three decades ago.

Jurors ordered the former U.S. president to pay $18.3 million in compensatory damages and $65 million in punitive damages.

The seven-man, two-woman jury, whose members were kept anonymous, took less than three hours to reach a verdict after a five-day trial in Manhattan federal court. The sum the jury ordered Trump to pay far exceeded the minimum $10 million that Carroll had sought in the case.

Carroll’s case has become an issue in Trump’s campaign to retake the White House in the November election. Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic President Joe Biden in the November U.S. election. Biden beat Trump in 2020.

Trump attended most of the trial, but was not in the courtroom to hear the verdict. He said in a social media post that he will appeal.

Carroll, 80, did not answer questions as she left the courthouse, with her arms around two of her lawyers. Carroll had sued Trump in November 2019 over his denials five months earlier that he had raped her in the mid-1990s in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in Manhattan.

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Carroll, a former Elle magazine advice columnist, said Trump “shattered” her reputation as a respected journalist who told the truth. She also said punitive damages were needed to keep Trump from continuing to defame her.

Trump, 77, maintained that he had never heard of Carroll, and that she made up her story to boost sales of her memoir.

His lawyers said Carroll was hungry for fame and enjoyed the attention from supporters for speaking out against her nemesis.

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