Trump Defamation Case: Judge’s Decision Revealed

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan issued a summary judgment before trial, deciding that the sole issue to be tried on January 15, 2024, is the amount of money former president Donald Trump owes E. Jean Carroll in her defamation suit.

On September 6, an order was issued that partially granted President Trump’s plea to defer the trial due to his ongoing criminal legal trials.

Before this year, Carroll has sued President Trump twice, once for defamation and another for sexual battery and slander in remarks made in 2022. Both trials revolve around Carroll’s allegations, made in 2019, that he assaulted her in a department shop in the mid-1990s. President Trump denied the allegations while in office, saying he had never met the woman.

Carroll sued for defamation because of the widespread dissemination of the allegedly false comments. President Trump countersued, claiming slander, but his case was dismissed.

Carroll’s sexual battery claim was settled in May for $5 million. The jury determined that President Trump was responsible for defamation and sexually abusing Carroll, using the word as defined by the court. Carroll revised her original claim to include a $10 million restitution demand. 

Compensatory damages will be negotiated during the subsequent trial.

Carroll asked the court to find in her favor in the first case after receiving a slander verdict from a different jury. The judge rejected President Trump’s counterargument.

According to the judge, the case should be dismissed because there is no genuine issue of material facts to be tried. Carroll was legally entitled to a judgment.

While the second complaint focused on Trump’s 2022 comments, the 2019 comments about not knowing Carroll and criticizing the book she promoted were discussed before the jury.

In a separate case, Trump attempted to refute the claims against him but was unsuccessful.

“The truth or falsity of Mr. Trump’s 2019 statements therefore depends—like the truth or falsity of his 2022 statement—on whether Ms. Carroll lied about Mr. Trump sexually assaulting her. The jury’s finding that she did not, therefore, is binding in this case and precludes Mr. Trump from contesting the falsity of his 2019 statements,” the judge wrote. “Mr. Trump’s contrary arguments are all unpersuasive.”

In her motion for summary judgment, Carroll contended that no reasonable person could conclude that Trump behaved with genuine contempt in October 2022 but lacked it in June 2019.

Trump stated of the allegations against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whom he had chosen for the position, “Shame on those who falsify stories of assault to get publicity for themselves, to sell a book, or carry out a political agenda.”

Both Carroll and New York Magazine came under fire from the president for publishing the article without supporting evidence, such as photos, videos, or eyewitness accounts.

“False accusations diminish the severity of real assaults,” he continued, implying the Democratic Party was involved.

The court documents also included a 2019 interview with President Trump in which he discussed the allegations. Repeating his prior claims and calling the accusation a complete shame, he reacted to queries concerning his assertion that he had never met her.

After Carroll discussed the case with CNN’s Anderson Cooper in 2022, President Trump posted it on Truth Social.

“This ‘Ms. Bergdorf Goodman’ case is a complete con. She entirely fabricated a story that I met her at the doors of this busy New York City Department Store and, in minutes, swooned her. It is a hoax and a lie,” Trump wrote.

He addressed the interview where she was promoting a substandard book. He called the accusation a scam, accusing Carroll of changing her story and not being able to recount when the event took place.

“She doesn’t know because it never happened,” he wrote.