Second civil conviction in New York for Donald Trump in the Carroll case and a new judicial defeat in the midst of the election campaign for the White House: after only three hours, a jury of seven men and two women sentenced him to pay a total of 83.3 million dollars compensation for defaming the writer by denying in 2019 – when she was president – a sexual assault almost 30 years ago in a luxury department store in the Big Apple.
The tycoon was not in the courtroom when the verdict was read. This is an astronomical sum, much higher than expected, between 18.3 million in “compensatory” damages (for emotional stress, damage to reputation and therefore loss of earnings) and 65 million in punitive damages (as deterrence against further defamation). Carroll’s defense had asked for 24 million dollars, while the experts had estimated the damages between 7 and 12 million dollars.
Last May the tycoon had already been found responsible for the same violence, as well as defamation, and forced to pay 5 million dollars. The Donald’s reaction was immediate on his social network Truth: “Absolutely ridiculous! I completely disagree with both verdicts and will appeal against this entire witch hunt directed by Biden against me and the Republican Party. Our legal system is out of control and it is being used as a political weapon. They have eliminated all First Amendment Rights. This is not America!”
The verdict comes at the end of a very tense trial, where Trump was threatened with being expelled from the courtroom for his excesses and his loud comments against his accuser. Just as one of his lawyers was threatened with imprisonment for continuing his speech beyond the allotted time.
The tycoon was able to testify on Thursday for only a few minutes: the judge had allowed him to answer only yes or no to the questions, to avoid transforming the trial into an electoral rally, as the former president tries to do in all the occasions. So he could only confirm his previous testimony, namely that he never met or attacked Carroll.
“It’s a lie, and then he wasn’t even my type,” he had said in the past, continuing not only to deny the episode but accusing the writer of having sought a bit of publicity to sell her memoirs, the ones where she revealed for the attack for the first time.
According to the woman’s version, the tycoon used violence against her almost 30 years ago in a fitting room of Bergdorf and Goodman, the luxury department store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, where he had asked her for advice on giving underwear to a friend . A complaint deemed founded last May. For this reason, in this second trial the jury only had to limit itself to establishing the damages for yet another defamation. But the verdict went beyond all expectations and deals a bad blow to the former president, even in the eyes of the female electorate.
«Donald Trump destroyed my reputation and continued to lie. I was once a respected columnist, now I am known as a liar, a scammer and a madman”, Carroll defended herself in court, citing the offenses she suffered on social media. “And now I’m here to get my reputation back,” she explained.