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Trump asks choose to carry retrial or scale 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, Might 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 scale 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 a substitute discovered he was responsible for sexually abusing her.

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

“Such abuse may have included groping of the Plaintiff’s breasts by means of 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 ought to be within the “low six-figure vary” that’s per what he mentioned is New York regulation, 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 based mostly 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 acceptable,” Tacopina wrote.

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

Carroll’s lawyer 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 fastidiously thought-about the proof that Ms. Carroll introduced, and Trump didn’t placed on a single witness of his personal,” mentioned the lawyer, who will not be 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. Court docket of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

Carroll has a separate Manhattan federal court docket lawsuit pending towards 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 e-book that included particulars of her allegations.

That swimsuit has been delayed as a result 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 non-public citizen.

Carroll late final month requested Choose Kaplan for permission to amend that lawsuit to incorporate claims of “very substantial financial damages” towards 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 a minimum of $10 million from Trump within the pending lawsuit.

Trump in the course of 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 criticism says.

“Trump’s defamatory statements post-verdict present the depth of his malice towards Carroll since it’s onerous to think about defamatory conduct that might probably be extra motivated by hatred, unwell will, or spite,” the proposed criticism mentioned.

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

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