Trump must pay $83.3m for defaming E. Jean Carroll

Trump, already found liable for $5m for sexually assaulting writer E. Jean Carroll in a department store in the 1990s, must now pay $83.3m for subsequently defaming her in response to that verdict. Jurors took only 3 hours to return with the bill yesterday after a weeks-long trial.

Carroll won $18.3 million in compensation and $65 million in punitive damages—an "eyewatering" amount, reports CNN— and while Trump can appeal it, he must put the full amount in escrow to do so. The former president walked out of the court to avoid yesterday's denoument.

Carroll's lawyer issued a statement thanking the jury.

I almost don't have adjectives to describe it," Roberta Kaplan said, when asked about how Carroll responded to the verdict. "She is overjoyed. She cried. She showed more emotion – and I've known her for a long time now – than I've ever seen her show.
"She feels that she got justice from the jury today and from the court. And she feels she really stood up, and she has, stood up for almost every woman who's been defamed, who's been kicked down, who's been shut up," she added.
"I think she feels she really played a part in making things better for women everywhere."

Commentators ascribe the size of the verdict to the gravity of the crime, Trump's cavalier indifference to it, and his behavior in the courtroom. Other factors include the catastrophic ineptitude of his lawyer, Alina Habba, whose own behavior almost landed her in legal trouble and whose useless presence suggested Trump's own interest in the proceedings was purely theatrical.

In the earlier trial, evidence Trump himself provided—a deposition in which he reiterated attitudes to women earler voiced in the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape, described Carroll as not "his type", and mistook her for one of his former wives—was instrumental in convincing jurors he had assaulted her. Carroll also disclosed the incident to others when it happened, and they testified on her behalf.

The Atlantic's David A. Graham today asks "Is $83.3 Million Enough to Make Trump Stop Lying?" The question, coming as it does after a lifetime of Trump, says more about the media than the man.