(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump deserves a reconsideration of the damages a Manhattan, New York jury awarded because it did not find Trump raped E. Jean Carroll, as she long alleged, defense attorneys argued Thursday in a new court filing.
“The Court should order a new trial on damages or grant remittitur because contrary to Plaintiff’s claim of rape, the Jury found that she was not raped but was sexually abused by Defendant during the 1995/1996 Bergdorf Goodman incident. Such abuse could have included groping of Plaintiffs breasts through clothing or similar conduct, which is a far cry from rape. Therefore, an award of $2 million for such conduct, which admittedly did not cause any diagnosed mental injury to Plaintiff, is grossly excessive under the applicable case law,” the defense said.
The jury held Trump liable for battering E. Jean Carroll. The jury did not find that he raped her in a department store dressing room as alleged but held him liable for a lesser form of battery, sexual assault.
Trump has already signaled he intends to appeal the verdict. His filing Thursday sought to challenge the $5 million damage award.
“The $2.7 million compensatory damages award for Plaintiffs defamation claim for the October 12, 2022 Truth Social statement was based upon pure speculation,” the filing said. “Plaintiffs estimate of how many times the October 12, 2022 Statement was viewed on Truth Social and Twitter was totally unreliable because it incredibly ranged from 1.5 million to 5.7 million times, which is an error rate of 74%.”
Carroll’s legal team said the Trump lawyers’ arguments are “frivolous.”
“Over four weeks ago, a unanimous jury found that Donald Trump sexually assaulted E. Jean Carroll in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman and then defamed her by lying about her with hatred, ill-will, or spite,” Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, said in a statement to ABC News. “Trump now argues that, even if he did those things, Ms. Carroll doesn’t deserve the $5 million in damages that the jury awarded. But Trump’s arguments are frivolous — the jury carefully considered the evidence that Ms. Carroll presented, and Trump did not put on a single witness of his own. This time, Trump will not be able to escape the consequences of his actions.”
Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.