Jean Carroll demands $10 million from Trump in defamation lawsuit

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By Carina

Fresh off his significant victory in the 2024 Iowa caucuses, former President Donald Trump faces a new challenge in the courtroom. 

On Tuesday, a jury will begin deliberations to decide the compensation Trump owes for defaming E. Jean Carroll, a former advice columnist. 

Carroll seeks $10 million in new trial against Trump 

Last year, a jury found that Trump had sexually abused Carroll in the mid-1990s at a New York City department store and later defamed her, resulting in a $5 million award to Carroll. Trump has consistently denied these claims.

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Carroll is now bringing Trump to a civil trial, seeking at least $10 million in damages for Trump’s denials of her accusations made public in 2019. 

Trump has already been found liable, so this trial will focus solely on determining the compensation amount. This trial is another episode in Trump’s complex legal and campaign journey as the primary season kicks off.

Read More: Senate GOP predicts Trump’s dominant win in Iowa

Trump utilizes court appearances as campaign strategy ahead of Iowa caucus

The week before the Iowa caucuses, Trump appeared in court for two days, using these appearances as part of his campaign strategy. 

He portrayed the civil lawsuits and criminal charges against him as politically motivated attempts to prevent his return to the White House. 

Trump’s legal team argued for criminal immunity for his official acts during his presidency at a Washington, D.C., appeals court. 

Meanwhile, in New York, Trump attended the closing arguments of his civil fraud trial, openly criticizing the attorney general prosecuting the case.

Trump’s Iowa caucus triumph followed by appearance at Carroll’s defamation trial

Following his courtroom appearances, Trump achieved a resounding victory in the Iowa caucuses, securing about half of the vote and reinforcing his position as the Republican frontrunner. 

Before his next campaign stop in New Hampshire, Trump is expected to attend Carroll’s defamation trial in New York. 

He has indicated a willingness to testify, stating, “Yeah, I’m going to go to it, and I’m going to explain I don’t know who the hell she is.”

Trump’s frustration with Carroll’s case is evident through his numerous posts on Truth Social, where he has criticized both Carroll and the judge. However, whether he will address the jury remains uncertain.

Also Read: Trump says vote for Ramaswamy is ‘a wasted vote’

Carroll lawsuits deemed less critical by Trump’s team 

Although Carroll’s lawsuits have generated significant media attention, Trump’s legal team considers them less threatening than his four criminal indictments and other legal challenges. 

If Trump testifies, he will be restricted from claiming that the sexual assault did not happen, among other public statements he has made about the case. 

Carroll’s lawyers have expressed concerns about Trump potentially turning the trial into a spectacle.

Last-minute disputes have arisen over the extent of Trump’s testimony, with his lawyers insisting he can still provide substantial testimony, albeit with significant limitations.

Manhattan trial concentrates on Trump’s defamation case

The trial, set in a Manhattan federal courtroom, is narrowly focused on defamation charges related to Trump’s statements in June 2019, following Carroll’s public accusation and the publication of an excerpt from her book. 

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan has already found Trump automatically liable due to the verdict from last year’s trial. 

This trial will focus on Carroll’s request for $10 million in compensatory damages in addition to punitive damages. 

Jurors will be instructed to accept as fact that Trump sexually abused Carroll, with Kaplan barring evidence that undermines this claim.

Topics banned in Caroll case to avoid prejudice in trial

The trial will have many similarities to the previous one, including the same judge and the allowance of the “Access Hollywood” tape as evidence. 

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Trump is prohibited from discussing certain topics, such as the funding of Carroll’s legal expenses by a nonprofit backed by a Democratic mega donor. 

Kaplan has ruled that discussing these topics could lead to substantial prejudice without significant probative value.

Carroll’s trial tactics: Witness lineup and Trump’s potential testimony

Carroll may again call witnesses who have made similar accusations against Trump, and a marketing expert will likely testify to quantify the damages caused by Trump’s statements. 

In the previous trial, Trump’s lawyers did not present a defense case, and the jury never heard from Trump. Whether Trump will testify this time remains an open question.

Read Next: Trump’s first public critique of Ramaswamy ahead of Iowa caucus

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