Trump Faces Costly Legal Battle: Defamation Case
After facing a potential $370m fine and the risk of his real estate empire collapsing in New York state court, former US President Donald Trump will now confront another expensive legal battle in Manhattan. This time, it’s a defamation case brought by a woman who accuses him of sexual abuse, as determined by a jury. The trial, the second of its kind in less than a year, will take place at Manhattan federal court, just a short distance from the courthouse where the New York attorney general’s team argued that Trump committed civil fraud.
Background of the Allegations
In late 1995, the plaintiff, E Jean Carroll, alleges that Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room. Her account was first published by New York magazine. Trump vehemently denied these claims, dismissing them as an attempt to promote her book and suggesting they belonged in the fiction section. He further insulted Carroll and accused her of being part of a political conspiracy.
The Lawsuit and the Jury’s Verdict
In 2019, Carroll sued Trump for defamation, claiming that his denials damaged her reputation. However, she was unable to sue him for the sexual assault itself due to the statute of limitations. In 2022, the Adult Survivors Act in New York allowed Carroll to file a civil suit against Trump for the alleged assault. The lawsuit, which also included defamation claims for statements made by Trump after he left office, went to trial in April 2023. After just a few hours of deliberations, the jury found Trump liable for sexual assault and defamation, awarding Carroll $5m.
Upcoming Trial Details
The upcoming trial will not revisit the claim of sexual assault, as it has already been established by a previous jury. Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that Trump cannot deny the sexual assault, stating that it is binding in this case. The trial will solely focus on whether Trump defamed Carroll with his 2019 statements and the resulting financial penalties. Trump is prohibited from presenting any evidence or arguments to suggest that he did not sexually assault Carroll or that she fabricated her account. The jury will determine the damages.
Implications for Trump
Trump faces a legal setback as he cannot block testimony from a marketing professor, Ashlee Humphreys, who will provide an assessment of the reputational harm Carroll suffered due to Trump’s statements. With no legal or factual defense available, the trial is expected to progress rapidly.
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Read More of this Story at www.theguardian.com – 2024-01-14 15:59:00
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