Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Donald Trump ordered to pay E Jean Carroll US$83.3 million in defamation case, will appeal verdict


Alina Habba, the lawyer who led Trump’s defence in Carroll’s case, cast Friday’s verdict in political terms, and predicted Trump’s appeal will succeed.

“President Trump is leading in the polls, and now we see what you get in New York,” Habba told reporters. “It will not deter us, we will keep fighting, and I assure you we didn’t win today, but we will win.”

Trump on Friday stalked out of the courtroom during the closing argument of Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, but returned for Habba’s closing argument.

He has used Carroll’s case and his other legal travails to portray himself as the victim of politically motivated lies and a biased, out-of-control judicial system. Trump separately has pleaded not guilty to 91 felony counts in four criminal indictments, including two cases accusing him of trying to illegally overturn his 2020 election loss.

Trump is also awaiting a decision, perhaps this month, from a New York judge on how much he should be penalised in state Attorney General Letitia James’ US$370 million civil fraud lawsuit against him and his namesake Trump Organization.

During the trial, Trump was heard muttering at the case was a “con job” and “witch hunt” and that he still did not know who Carroll was, prompting the judge to twice admonish him to keep quiet.


Kaplan, who is not related to the judge, had argued that Trump acted toward Carroll as though he were not bound by the law.

“This trial is about getting him to stop, once and for all,” she added. “Now is the time to make him pay for it dearly.”

Habba countered that it was the publication of excerpts from Carroll’s memoir in New York magazine that triggered the attacks, not Trump’s denials that began five hours later.

She also argued that Carroll enjoyed her newfound fame and was “happier than ever,” citing her testimony that she had entered a “cocoon of love” from her supporters.

Trump was allowed to testify on Thursday, but spent only four minutes on the witness stand.

His brief appearance resulted from Judge Kaplan having forbidden him and his lawyers from revisiting issues that the first trial had settled.

Trump confirmed that he stood behind his October 2022 deposition testimony, which jurors had been shown, in which he called Carroll’s claims a “hoax” and said she was “mentally sick”.

Carroll wrote the “Ask E Jean” column for Elle from 1993 to 2019, and often appeared on such programs as NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.” She said those appearances dried up because of Trump.

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