In a world where the line between reality TV and politics is blurrier than a Monet painting, the former president, Donald Trump, continues to generate trivia worthy of a prime-time soap opera. This time, it’s the E. Jean Carroll trial, a former advice columnist with a tale as gripping as her pen.
Carroll alleged in her 2019 memoir that Donald Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman store in New York City in 1996. Trump denied the allegation and called her a “nut job.” Carroll sued him under a New York law that allowed her to file a civil lawsuit despite the expired statute of limitations. On May 9, 2023, the jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation. They awarded Carroll $5 million in damages: $2 million for sexual abuse, $1 million for defamation, and $2 million in punitive damages. Here are the facts.
E. Jean Carroll Trial: When Memoirs Morph into Legal Battles
Carroll’s dramatic revelation first saw the light of day in her 2019 memoir. She alleged that Trump sexually assaulted her in the oh-so-glamorous dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman back in 1996. Trump’s eloquent response to this allegation was to call Carroll a “nut job” and spin the tale as fiction. This left Carroll with no choice but to sue Trump for defamation. But it seems like the plot was just thickening.
New York’s Adult Survivors Act: A Gateway to Justice
Carroll capitalized on the New York State Adult Survivors Act, a lifeline for those with long-expired sexual assault allegations. It was a move as strategic as 4D chess, putting Trump squarely on the defensive.
April Showers Bring May… Verdicts?
Fast-forward to April 24, 2023. The stage was set in a federal court in Manhattan, and Carroll’s testimony had more episodes than a Netflix binge. The jury heard from two other women accusing Trump of assault: Jessica Leeds and Natasha Stoynoff. They were also treated to a private screening of the infamous 2005 grab-that-cat “Access Hollywood” tape.
Trump’s Tweet: A Modern Witch Hunt
Trump, ever the social media maestro, decided not to grace the court with his presence. Instead, he posted a message online, on his own “Truth” social platform, calling the trial a “witch hunt.” One can only assume he had his broomstick ready, just in case.
The Verdict: A Tale of Tears, Triumph, and Trumped-up Charges
Finally, on May 9, 2023, after three long hours of deliberation (because, let’s face it, lunch breaks are important), the jury reached a verdict. They found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation, but not rape, and awarded Carroll $5 million.
Carroll’s Reaction: A Cocktail of Emotion
With tears streaking her face and laughter punctuating her words, Carroll declared her victory not just for herself but for every woman whose voice was previously unheard.
Trump’s Tantrum: A Predictable Plot Twist
True to form, Trump quickly lashed out at the verdict, vowing to appeal and blaming a “biased judge.” On June 13, 2023, a Manhattan judge allowed Carroll to revise her other lawsuit, stemming from derogatory comments Trump made about her in 2019, to include similar comments he made recently on CNN. In these comments, Trump called Carroll a “wack job” and a “liar.” Carroll seeks at least $10 million in damages for Trump’s statements.
Another Legal Landmine on Trump’s Path
Meanwhile, as Trump faces an avalanche of other lawsuits, this verdict just adds to the pile: From his business to his taxes, his conduct during the elections, and his alleged role in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. It seems like his legal woes multiply faster than rabbits in spring.
The Aftermath: A Defamation Domino Effect?
The E. Jean Carroll trial verdict could set a precedent for other defamation lawsuits against Trump. It’s like a game of dominos – once one falls, the rest could quickly follow. Trump proved the point by countersuing Carroll for… defamation (!) on June 27, 2023, alleging she falsely accused him of rape while he “only” sexually abused her. On Aug. 7, a federal judge dismissed Trump’s countersuit. He noted that both acts (rape as defined in the New York Penal Law and the act the jury found Trump committed) constitute ‘rape’ as used in everyday language and in some laws. Trump’s lawyer said that they would be filing an appeal.
Even more Trump legal trivia facts
Get all of Trump’s legal woes explained in trivia fun facts:
- E. JEAN CARROLL’S COURTROOM VICTORY: TRUMP’S LATEST TRIVIA TWIST IN THE LEGAL LABYRINTH
- TRUMP’S FIRST INDICTMENT: A TRIVIAL PURSUIT OF JUSTICE
- THE TRUMP TAPE: A TRIVIAL TALE OF CLASSIFIED CHATTER IN 6 FACTS
- TRUMP’S THIRD INDICTMENT: A TRIVIA TWIST ON JAN. 6 CAPITOL CAPER
We cross-checked these E. Jean Carroll trial facts with the world’s leading news providers. Here are some articles we read for this post.
- AP News: Jury finds Trump liable for sexual abuse, awards E. Jean Carroll $5M
- CNN Politics: E. Jean Carroll trial: Jury finds Donald Trump sexually abused columnist in a civil case, awards her $5 million
- Sky News: Trump attacks biased judge and will appeal after jury finds he sexually abused writer E Jean Carroll in changing room
- The Economist: E. Jean Carroll trial: A jury unanimously finds Donald Trump liable for sexual assault
- NPR: Trump found liable for battery, defamation against E. Jean Carroll
- The New York Times: E. Jean Carroll trial: Jury Finds Trump Liable for Sexual Abuse and Defamation
- Reuters: Trump sexually abused writer E. Jean Carroll, must pay her $5 million, jury says
- Reuters: Trump sues E. Jean Carroll for defamation after jury finds he sexually abused her
- The Guardian: Key Moments in the Donald Trump-E. Jean Carroll Trial that Gripped America
- The Guardian: Trump sues E Jean Carroll for defamation over rape comments
- The New York Times: Judge to Allow Trump’s New Comments in E. Jean Carroll Trial
- AP News: Judge tosses Trump’s defamation suit against the writer who won sexual abuse lawsuit against him
- The Guardian: Judge says E. Jean Carroll’s allegation Trump raped her is ‘substantially true’ in court dismissal