Former Elle magazine advice columnist E. Jean Carroll watches as Joe Tacopina, lawyer of former U.S. President Donald Trump, makes closing arguments during a civil trial where Carroll accuses Trump of raping her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s, and of defamation, in New York, May 8, 2023.
Jane Rosenberg | Reuters
Donald Trump on Thursday filed notice that he will appeal this week’s federal civil jury verdict holding the former president liable for sexually abusing and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll.
Trump’s lawyers also said in that filing they will ask the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to toss out the order for him to pay $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages to Carroll in the case.
Also on Thursday, Carroll’s lawyer told The New York Times that the writer was considering filing a new defamation lawsuit against Trump for saying the night before on a CNN town hall that her claim of being raped by him in a dressing room of the Bergdorf Goodman department store in the 1990s was “fake.”
“We have to weigh the various pros and cons and we’ll come to a decision in the next day or so, probably,” Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, told The Times.
If Carroll, 79, does file a new suit, it would be her third defamation claim against Trump.
The second lawsuit was resolved Tuesday when a jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan after less than three hours of deliberations found he had sexually abused her, and also had defamed her last fall.
The first lawsuit, which alleges Trump defamed her when he was president after she went public with her rape claim in 2019, has been effectively on hold pending legal arguments over whether he can be held liable for comments made when he served in the White House.
Trump’s notice of appeal was filed Thursday less than an hour after the final judgment of the jury verdict was entered on the Manhattan court’s docket.
The jury on Tuesday did not find there was a preponderance of evidence Trump raped Carroll. But its finding that he likely sexually abused her was enough to sustain her civil claim for battery.
Trump is the leading contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Trump, during the New Hampshire town hall hosted by CNN on Wednesday night, mocked Carroll, drawing laughter and cheers from the audience. Trump called Carroll a “whack job” during the town hall and again claimed her account of the events was “fake.”
“She wasn’t raped, OK?” Trump said. “And I didn’t do anything else either, OK, because I don’t know who the hell she is.”