By Larry Neumeister
E. Jean Carroll, the columnist who won a $5 million sexual abuse and defamation award against former President Donald Trump, is seeking at least $10 million more in a new court filing Monday that seeks to hold him liable for remarks he made after the verdict.
An amended lawsuit seeking the $10 million in compensatory damages — and more in punitive damages — was filed in Manhattan by lawyers for Carroll, who say remarks by Trump in response to her rape allegations so spoiled her reputation that she lost her longtime job as an Elle magazine advice columnist.
They said in the rewritten lawsuit that he “doubled down” on derogatory remarks about Carroll at a cable television appearance a day after the verdict.
“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 lawyers wrote. “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."
A nine-person jury two weeks ago decided Trump had sexually abused Carroll at an upscale Manhattan department store in early spring 1996.
Carroll, who testified during the trial, first revealed in a 2019 book her claims that Trump raped her in a dressing room. The jury decided Carroll hadn't proved she had been raped, but found that Trump had sexually abused her.
Joe Tacopina, a Trump lawyer, declined to comment on the new claims.
The lawyers filed the new claims in amending a defamation lawsuit that was put on hold as an appeals court was deciding whether Trump could be held liable for remarks he made in 2019 while he was still president. The U.S. Justice Department has supported his lawyers' claims that the United States should be substituted as the defendant.
In the new claim, Carroll's lawyers said Trump, “undeterred by the jury’s verdict, persisted in maliciously defaming Carroll yet again" the next day during a “town hall” event hosted by CNN.
“He doubled down on his prior defamatory statements, asserting to an audience all too ready to cheer him on that ‘I never met this woman. I never saw this woman,’ that he did not sexually assault Carroll, and that her account — which had just been validated by a jury of Trump’s peers one day before — was a ‘fake,’ ‘made up story’ invented by a ‘whack job.’ Those statements resulted in enthusiastic cheers and applause from the audience on live TV,” the lawyers wrote.