Donald Trump sexually abused magazine writer E. Jean Carroll in the 1990s and then defamed her by branding her a liar, jurors decided on Tuesday and awarded her $5 million in damages.
The former U.S. president, campaigning to retake the White House in 2024, will appeal, said his spokesman Steven Cheung. Trump will not have to pay so long as the case is on appeal.
Carroll, 79, testified during the civil trial that Trump, 76, raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in Manhattan in either 1995 or 1996, then harmed her reputation by writing in an October 2022 post on his Truth Social platform that her claims were a “complete con job,” “a hoax” and “a lie.”
Carroll held hands with her lawyers as the verdict was read.
She left the courthouse with her lawyer Roberta Kaplan, smiling and wearing sunglasses, and entered a car without speaking to reporters.
The nine-member jury in Manhattan federal court awarded $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Although the finding of sexual abuse was enough to establish his liability for battery, the jury did not find that Trump raped her.
The jury deliberated for just under three hours before rejecting Trump’s denial that he assaulted Carroll. To find him liable, the jury of six men and three women was required to reach a unanimous verdict.
Trump was absent throughout the trial which began on April 25. In a post on his Truth Social platform, Trump called the verdict a “disgrace” and said, “I have absolutely no idea who this woman is.”