In a landmark verdict, a federal jury has found former President Donald Trump liable for battery and defamation in a lawsuit brought by writer E. Jean Carroll. This decision came after a two-week trial at a federal courtroom in New York City, awarding Carroll $5 million in damages.
Carroll had alleged that Trump sexually abused her in a Manhattan department store in the mid-1990s. The jury, however, did not concur that Trump raped Carroll, but they agreed unanimously that he sexually abused her, and defamed her when he denied her allegations.
Carroll, a well-known writer and advice columnist, testified that the incident had profound effects on her personal life and career, hampering her ability to form romantic relationships and damaging her professional reputation. Her allegations became public in 2019, when she sued Trump for defamation over his denial of her claim. A second lawsuit was filed in 2022, adding a battery claim following New York state’s temporary removal of the statute of limitations for sexual assault survivors.
Throughout the trial, Trump maintained his denial of Carroll’s claims. He did not appear in court and expressed his dissatisfaction with the verdict on his social media platform, Truth Social.
Carroll’s victory in court marked a significant moment for victims of sexual abuse. Despite the victory, the former president’s lawyer announced plans to appeal the decision. This lawsuit is one among several ongoing legal battles that Trump is currently involved in, some of which could potentially impact his campaign for the 2024 presidential election.
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