E Jean Carroll seeks more damages from Trump after CNN town hall

Jury found the former US president liable of abuse of the former magazine columnist and fined him $5 million

E Jean Carroll arrives at a courthouse in New York for a trial over her claim that former president Donald Trump sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s. AP
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E Jean Carroll on Monday sought to amend the first of two defamation lawsuits she filed against Donald Trump, arguing that statements made by the former president after a jury found him liable in one suit warranted “very substantial” damages.

The amended lawsuit, seeking at least $10 million in compensatory damages, was filed in Manhattan federal court by lawyers for Ms Carroll, who say remarks by Mr Trump after she made rape allegations against him destroyed her reputation and led to her losing her long-time job as an Elle magazine advice columnist.

A nine-person jury two weeks ago decided that Mr Trump had sexually abused Ms Carroll at an upscale Manhattan department store in early spring 1996.

Ms Carroll, who gave evidence during the trial, first revealed in a 2019 book her claims that Mr Trump had raped her in a dressing room, but the jury rejected that claim, deciding instead that he was liable for sexually abuse.

On Monday, Ms Carroll's lawyers pointed to Mr Trump's posts on Truth Social calling the verdict a “disgrace” and criticism of Ms Carroll on CNN on May 10 in arguing that she should be allowed to amend her earlier lawsuit, which alleges the former president defamed her by denying the incident in 2019 comments, while he was president.

Ms Carroll's lawyers said Mr Trump, “undeterred by the jury’s verdict, persisted in maliciously defaming Carroll yet again” the next day during a live televised event hosted by CNN.

“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,” her lawyers wrote.

“This conduct supports a very substantial punitive damages award.

“He doubled down on his prior defamatory statements, asserting to an audience all too ready to cheer him on that ‘I never met this woman. I never saw this woman,’ that he did not sexually assault Carroll, and that her account – which had just been validated by a jury of Trump’s peers one day before – was a ‘fake,’ ‘made up story’ invented by a ‘whack job'.

“Those statements resulted in enthusiastic cheers and applause from the audience on live TV.”

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: May 23, 2023, 5:15 AM