In a recent ruling, a federal judge has determined that former President Donald Trump is liable for defamatory statements made against writer E. Jean Carroll in 2019. Carroll had publicly accused Trump of raping her decades earlier. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan has now stated that a jury in the upcoming trial for Carroll's civil lawsuit will determine the amount of monetary damages Trump should pay.
This ruling comes after another jury, four months ago, found Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming Carroll in a separate civil lawsuit she had filed against him. However, the jury did not agree with Carroll's claim of rape, but rather found that she was sexually abused. They awarded her $5 million in damages.
In this current lawsuit, Carroll alleges that Trump defamed her by dismissing her rape allegations, suggesting that she fabricated the attack to promote her book, and stating that she was not his "type."
Judge Kaplan has based his decision to move the case to a jury for damages on the previous verdict in May. He argues that this judgment "is binding in this case and precludes Mr. Trump from contesting the falsity of his 2019 statements." Kaplan further noted in his ruling that the jury had found that Trump knew his statement about Carroll lying was false or that he acted with reckless disregard for its truthfulness.
This ruling is significant as it holds a former president accountable for his statements and actions. The jury's verdict in the previous lawsuit and this recent ruling indicate that Trump's statements regarding Carroll were false or made with reckless disregard for the truth. The upcoming trial will now determine the amount of damages Trump will be required to pay Carroll.