NEW YORK, UNITED STATES — Former US magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll — whom Donald Trump owes US$5 million for 1990s sexual abuse for which a civil jury found him liable — is seeking new damages alleging the ex-president further defamed her after the verdict in that civil case.
“She’s a whack job,” the 2024 Republican primary candidate said on CNN the day after a New York jury found him liable for sexually abusing and defaming the Elle magazine writer earlier this month.
Those comments — with Trump adding that Carroll was telling a “made-up story” and that he didn’t know her — constitute further “defamatory statements,” Carroll’s lawyers argue.
In response, her lawyers filed an amended complaint to a 2019 defamation lawsuit Carroll had already brought against Trump — a separate, still-pending case different from the one decided on 9 May.
“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 complaint reads.
“This conduct supports a very substantial punitive damages award in Carroll’s favour both to punish Trump, to deter him from engaging in further defamation, and to deter others from doing the same.”
The day before the CNN broadcast, a jury had found the former president liable in a civil case for sexually abusing Carroll, who said Trump raped her in a changing room at a New York department store in the 1990s.
The jury rejected Carroll’s rape allegation but found Trump liable for sexual abuse and subsequent defamation when he called her “a complete con job” after she came forward with the allegations.
Trump denies the allegations and has appealed the judgment. No criminal case can stem from Carroll’s lawsuit.
Monday’s amended complaint is part of a separate defamation case — one that’s been delayed by procedural battles, including whether Trump is protected from comments he made about Carroll in 2019 by presidential immunity since he was in the White House at the time.