The writer E. Jean Carroll on Monday filed court papers seeking “very substantial” monetary damages from former President Donald Trump for his scathing remarks about her at a CNN town hall a day after losing a $5 million lawsuit by her earlier this month.
Carroll’s move came as her lawyers asked a Manhattan federal court judge for permission to amend the original defamation lawsuit, which she lodged against Trump in 2019, to reflect his new statements on CNN about her, which they say also are defamatory.
“Trump’s defamatory statements post-verdict show the depth of his malice toward Carroll since it is hard to imagine defamatory conduct that could possibly be more motivated by hatred, ill will, or spite,” the proposed amended complaint says.
“This conduct supports a very substantial punitive damages award in Carroll’s favor both to punish Trump, to deter him from engaging in further defamation, and to deter others from doing the same,” the complaint says.
Carroll’s second lawsuit, filed in late 2022 and alleging rape and defamation, ended with a jury in that court after less than three hours of deliberations finding Trump liable for sexually abusing her and for defaming her last fall when he denied her allegations.
The writer has said Trump raped her in the mid-1990s in a dressing room of the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan.
He denies sexually assaulting her, but has made a series of comments over the years accusing her of making up the claim.
Carroll’s new proposed amended lawsuit notes that during his CNN town hall interview on May 10, “Trump falsely stated that he did not sexually abuse Carroll, that he has no idea who Carroll was, and that Carroll’s now-proven accusation was a ‘fake’ and ‘made up story’ created by a ‘whack job.’ ”
“Trump also insulted Carroll’s character and downplayed his sexual abuse of her by asking ‘what kind of woman meets someone’ and then ‘within minutes’ plays ‘hanky-panky in a dressing room,’ ” the amended complaint says.
The filing notes that about 3.3 million people watched the CNN broadcast, and heard the audience in the studio “applauding and laughing along uproariously to Trump’s comments.”
The filing cites several Twitter posts that echoed Trump’s “many lies and demeaning remarks” about Carroll.
“These and other similar messages are exactly what Trump intended,” the amended complaint says. “Trump used a national platform to demean and mock Carroll. He egged on a laughing audience as he made light of his violent sexual assault, called Carroll names, implied that Carroll was asking to be assaulted, and dismissed the jury’s verdict vindicating Carroll.”
If Judge Lewis Kaplan allows Carroll to amend her pending lawsuit, it would be the latest example in a series of Trump’s statements about her adding to his civil legal peril.
Carroll, 79, went public with her allegation against Trump in a June 2019 New York magazine article, at a time when he was still president.
She filed her first lawsuit against him in New York state court in November 2019, claiming he defamed her by saying she was lying and that she had been motivated a political agenda and a desire to boost sales of a book when her allegations.
The first lawsuit was transferred to Manhattan federal court when the Department of Justice sought to replace Trump as a defendant, on the grounds that he was acting as president when he made those statements. Judge Kaplan refused to let the DOJ stand in Trump’s place, but appeals about his decision have prevented the lawsuit from going to trial yet.
Carroll filed a second lawsuit in Manhattan federal court last year, taking advantage of a new New York state law that allowed accusers in sexual assault or misconduct cases to file lawsuits within a one-year window if they would otherwise be barred by the civil statute of limitations.
That second complaint also alleged defamation, citing statements by Trump last fall that repeated his claim she made up being raped, calling her allegations “a complete con job,” and saying that Carroll was not his “type.”
Source : CNBC