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Trump asks choose to carry retrial or cut back $5 million damages in E. Jean Carroll sexual assault case

Former Elle journal recommendation columnist E. Jean Carroll watches as Joe Tacopina, lawyer of former U.S. President Donald Trump, makes closing arguments throughout a civil trial the place Carroll accuses Trump of raping her in a division retailer dressing room within the mid-1990s, and of defamation, New York, Could 8, 2023.

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

Legal professionals for Donald Trump on Thursday requested a federal choose to order a retrial on the query of financial damages for a lawsuit accusing the previous president of sexually assaulting author E. Jean Carroll, or to sharply cut back the $5 million award a civil trial jury ordered for her final month.

Trump’s request leans closely on the very fact the jury didn’t discover, as Carroll had alleged in her lawsuit, that Trump raped her in a New York division retailer within the mid-1990s. It as an alternative discovered he was responsible for sexually abusing her.

Trump’s attorneys argued the $2 million in damages awarded to Carroll are “grossly extreme underneath relevant case legislation.”

“Such abuse might have included groping of the Plaintiff’s breasts by clothes or comparable conduct, which is a far cry from rape,” wrote Trump’s lawyer Joseph Tacopina within the movement to Choose Lewis Kaplan.

Tacopina argued any damages that Carroll, 79, receives for the alleged abuse must be within the “low six-figure vary” that’s in keeping with what he mentioned is New York legislation, and with prior awards to plaintiffs “whose intimate components had been groped by a defendant.”

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Tacopina additionally wrote the $2.7 million in compensatory damages the jury awarded Carroll for Trump’s defamatory statements about her allegations “was primarily based on pure hypothesis” concerning the purported reputational hurt she suffered from his feedback.

“New York courts have constantly held that compensatory harm awards of $100,000 or much less for defamation claims are applicable,” Tacopina wrote.

He mentioned the damages for defamation must be not more than $368,000.

Carroll’s legal professional in an announcement scoffed at Trump’s argument, and famous the jury unanimously discovered he sexually abused Carroll.

“Trump now argues that, even when he did these issues, Ms. Carroll would not deserve the $5 million in damages that the jury awarded,” mentioned Carroll’s lawyer, Robbie Kaplan.

“However Trump’s arguments are frivolous — the jury rigorously thought of the proof that Ms. Carroll offered, and Trump didn’t placed on a single witness of his personal,” mentioned the lawyer, who just isn’t associated to the choose. “This time, Trump will be unable to flee the results of his actions.”

Carroll testified that Trump, 76, raped her in a dressing room on the Bergdorf Goodman division retailer in Manhattan after an opportunity encounter.

Trump has repeatedly denied the declare and mentioned Carroll had invented it.

Trump, who’s searching for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is interesting the jury’s verdict on the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

Carroll has a separate Manhattan federal courtroom lawsuit pending in opposition to Trump. It alleges he defamed her whereas he was serving as president in 2019, when she first went public together with her declare of rape in a June 2019 New York Journal article. Trump at the moment mentioned Carroll was mendacity, and that she was motivated each by political animus towards him and a need to spice up gross sales of a guide that included particulars of her allegations.

That swimsuit has been delayed on account of questions of whether or not Trump may very well be held civilly responsible for statements he made as president, in distinction to his statements about Carroll final fall, which he made as a personal citizen.

Carroll late final month requested Choose Kaplan for permission to amend that lawsuit to incorporate claims of “very substantial financial damages” in opposition to Trump for scathing feedback he made about her at a CNN city corridor a day after he misplaced the opposite lawsuit. Carroll is searching for at least $10 million from Trump within the pending lawsuit.

Trump throughout the city corridor mentioned he didn’t sexually abuse Carroll and has no concept who Carroll was. He mentioned Carroll’s declare was a “pretend” and “made-up story” created by a “whack job.”

“Trump additionally insulted Carroll’s character and downplayed his sexual abuse of her by asking ‘what sort of girl meets somebody’ after which ‘inside minutes’ performs ‘hanky-panky in a dressing room,'” the amended grievance says.

“Trump’s defamatory statements post-verdict present the depth of his malice towards Carroll since it’s exhausting to think about defamatory conduct that would presumably be extra motivated by hatred, in poor health will, or spite,” the proposed grievance mentioned.

The choose has not but dominated on Carroll’s request to amend her lawsuit.

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