Trump Found Liable In Second E. Jean Carroll Lawsuit

A federal judge has ruled that former President Donald Trump is liable for making defamatory statements against writer E. Jean Carroll in 2019, after she went public with claims that he raped her decades earlier.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled Wednesday that a jury in the trial for Carroll’s civil lawsuit will next consider how much Trump should pay her in monetary damages.

The ruling comes four months after a jury found that Trump is liable for sexually abusing and defaming Carroll in a separate civil lawsuit she filed against him. The panel in the case rejected Caroll’s claim that she was raped but determined she was sexually abused and Trump should pay her $5 million in damages.

E. Jean Carroll (right) walks out of Manhattan federal court in May.
E. Jean Carroll (right) walks out of Manhattan federal court in May.

E. Jean Carroll (right) walks out of Manhattan federal court in May.

This second lawsuit focuses on Carroll’s claims that Trump defamed her when he dismissed her rape allegations, suggested that she made up the attack to promote her book, and said she wasn’t his “type.”

Kaplan based his decision to move the case to a jury for damages on the May verdict, with him reasoning that the previous judgment “is binding in this case and precludes Mr. Trump from contesting the falsity of his 2019 statements.”

“The jury found that Mr. Trump knew that his statement that Ms. Carroll lied about him sexually assaulting her for improper and ulterior purposes was false or that he acted with reckless disregard to whether it was false,” Kaplan wrote in a 25-page ruling.

Trump is appealing the earlier verdict, as well as the judge’s June 29 refusal to dismiss the current lawsuit. The 2024 presidential hopeful did not immediately issue a public comment on Wednesday’s ruling.

A trial to determine damages is scheduled to begin Jan. 15, the same day as the Iowa Republican caucuses.