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US Jury rules Donald Trump must pay $5 million in damages for sexual abuse and defamation

US Jury rules Donald Trump must pay $5 million in damages for sexual abuse and defamation
E Jean Carroll

New York City – In a significant development, a jury has determined that former U.S. President Donald Trump must pay $5 million in damages to magazine writer E. Jean Carroll for sexually abusing her in the 1990s and subsequently defaming her by labelling her a liar. The verdict was announced on Tuesday following a civil trial.

In response to the decision, Carroll, now 79 years old, released a statement expressing her satisfaction with the outcome. “Today, the world finally knows the truth,” she said. “This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed.”

Trump's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, stated that the former president intends to appeal the ruling. Outside the Manhattan federal courthouse, Tacopina told reporters that Trump, who is currently campaigning to retake the White House in 2024, plans to challenge the verdict.

During the trial, Carroll testified that Trump, then 76 years old, raped her in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan in either 1995 or 1996. She further claimed that Trump harmed her reputation by publicly dismissing her allegations as a “complete con job,” “a hoax,” and “a lie” in an October 2022 post on his Truth Social platform.

Throughout the trial, Trump was notably absent. In a post on his platform, he referred to the verdict as a “disgrace” and asserted, “I have absolutely no idea who this woman is.”

As this was a civil case, Trump did not face any criminal consequences, and there was never a threat of imprisonment. However, the jury, consisting of six men and three women, unanimously awarded Carroll $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Nevertheless, Trump will not be required to pay the damages while the case is under appeal.

Trump's legal team challenged the credibility of Carroll's account, questioning why she had not reported the incident to the police or vocalized her distress at the time. However, two of Carroll's friends testified that she had confided in them about the alleged rape, but had sworn them to secrecy due to her fear of potential retaliation from Trump.

While the verdict has generated attention, it remains uncertain how it will impact Trump's standing among his core supporters. In America's deeply divided political landscape, many of his loyal followers view the legal challenges he faces as part of a concerted effort by his opponents to undermine him. Republican strategist Charlie Gerow suggests that any negative repercussions are likely to be minimal and confined to suburban women and moderate Republicans.

Donald Trump, who served as the President of the from 2017 to 2021, is currently the front-runner in opinion polls for the Republican presidential nomination. He has shown resilience in weathering controversies that might have damaged other politicians. It remains to be seen whether the verdict in Carroll's case will have a substantial impact on Trump's candidacy and prompt other Republican voters to rally around an alternative candidate.

The trial also featured testimony from other women who alleged instances of sexual misconduct by Trump, including former People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff and Jessica Leeds. Jurors were presented with excerpts from a 2005 “Access Hollywood” video in which Trump made controversial remarks about women.

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