A jury in New York has ordered former US President Donald Trump to pay $83 million in compensation to writer E. Jean Carroll, whom he insulted after she accused him of sexually assaulting her.
The civil judgment issued by the jury far exceeds the $10 million Carroll had sought in her lawsuit. Trump immediately criticized the verdict, calling it ridiculous and stating that he would appeal.
The jury reached its decision after nearly 3 hours of deliberation. Trump had made several derogatory comments about Carroll when he was President, describing her as a liar after she alleged that he sexually assaulted her in the 1990s.
Trump had earlier attended the court but left in anger, only to return later for closing arguments. He was not present when the court clerk read the jury's decision. Following the verdict, Trump's attorney, Alina Habba, only thanked the court staff.
Judge Lewis Kaplan told the jury after the verdict that it is clear they were attentive. The judicial order included punitive damages of $65 million, as the jury found that Trump had acted recklessly in his public comments about Carroll, along with $7.3 million in compensatory damages and $11 million for a post-reputation-damage program.
While Trump was not compelled to appear or testify, he used his trial sessions to promote his presidential campaign, treating each session as part of an attempt by Democrats to prevent his return to the White House.
The trial resumed on Thursday after a delay due to one of the jurors contracting COVID-19. Judge Lewis Kaplan set standards and boundaries for Trump's testimony, emphasizing that he cannot deny the sexual assault after a prior judgment in Carroll's favor.
The judge also barred Trump from accusing her of lying and fabricating allegations for political or financial motives.
Trump was previously convicted in May of sexually assaulting E. Jean Carroll in 1996 and defaming her in 2022.
He was ordered to pay her a prior compensation of $5 million. Despite a unanimous New York court conviction in May 2023, Trump continued to tarnish Carroll's reputation, calling her a liar and crazy, a phony woman peddling a phony story.