Jury begins deliberations in Trump’s E. Jean Carroll defamation trial

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An anonymous federal jury has begun weighing how much money, if any, former President Donald Trump must pay the writer E. Jean Carroll for a pair of defamatory statements he made about her in 2019, when he denied sexually assaulting her in the 1990s.

The jury got the case after both sides presented their closing arguments on Friday, which grew contentious at several points. Trump walked out of the courtroom as Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan was delivering her remarks, shortly before she asked the jury to award Carroll at least $24 million in damages.

The defamation case is the second Carroll has filed against Trump. The judge overseeing the current trial has already ruled that Carroll was telling the truth about the assault, and that Trump’s statements denying her claims were defamatory. The jury is tasked with deciding what damages Carroll is entitled to receive.

In the trial to resolve Carroll’s first suit in May 2023, a jury found Trump liable for defamation and sexual abuse, and awarded Carroll $5 million.

Closing arguments

Kaplan was about 10 minutes into her closing argument on Friday when Trump, who was seated at the defense table, got up and exited the room. 

Before he left, Kaplan repeatedly told the jury that he sexually assaulted Carroll, prompting the former president to shake his head. She then moved on to Trump’s repeated defamatory statements, and said that “typically when people are held liable for false and defamatory lies, they stop.” 

“He continued to defame Ms. Carroll even as this trial was ongoing,” Kaplan said.

An artist's sketch of former President Donald Trump walking out of a federal courtroom in New York as an attorney for E. Jean Carroll presents her closing argument on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024.
An artist’s sketch of former President Donald Trump walking out of a federal courtroom in New York as an attorney for E. Jean Carroll presents her closing argument on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024.

Jane Rosenberg


Kaplan — who is not related to Lewis Kaplan, the judge overseeing the case — asked the jury to award Carroll at least $24 million in compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages severe enough to “make him stop” defaming her client.

Kaplan walked the jury through the first statements Trump made in 2019, and the many times he has repeated his claims — that he’s ever met Carroll, that she isn’t his “type,” that he didn’t assault her and that the case is a “hoax” — since then, including some as recently as this week.

“Those false denials and attacks continued while you were in this courtroom … while you were sitting in those seats,” Kaplan said, before showing a clip of a press conference Trump held last week, when he again lashed out at Carroll.

Then she showed a recent Truth Social post in which Trump promised to deny the allegations “a thousand times.”

“A thousand times, are you kidding me?” Kaplan said. “He’s prepared to do it 1,000 times unless you make him stop.”

Kaplan finished by pointing out that Trump didn’t attend the first trial, when the question of whether he sexually abused Carrol was put before the jury, but did appear for these proceedings, when damages were at stake.

“The one thing that Donald Trump does care about is money,” she said.



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