Trump appeals sexual abuse verdict, victim considers new lawsuit

Former US President Donald Trump is appealing against a $5m award to a woman that a jury found he had sexually abused.

Former US President Donald Trump has appealed a court order to pay victim of sexual abuse, E Jean Carroll, $5m [File: Yuki Iwamura/AP Photo]

Former US President Donald Trump is appealing a New York jury’s verdict awarding $5m to a magazine columnist after the jurors concluded Trump had sexually abused her in the 1990s and defamed her last October.

A notice of appeal was filed on Thursday in Manhattan federal court, the first step in a process that will move the civil case brought against Trump by writer E Jean Carroll to a three-judge panel of the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals.

The notice was signed by Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina, who said after Tuesday’s verdict that he believed there were multiple strong grounds for appeal.

The nine-person jury concluded after less than three hours of deliberations that Carroll had failed to prove it was more likely than not that Trump had raped her in the dressing room of a Bergdorf Goodman store in early spring 1996. But it did find that she had been sexually abused.

It also said in its verdict that Trump defamed Carroll in a social media statement last October.

Carroll sued Trump in November, minutes after a temporary New York state law took effect allowing sexual attack victims to sue their abusers even if the abuse occurred decades earlier.

Carroll is also considering new claims against Trump after he once again defamed her on prime time television this week.

At a televised “town hall” meeting on Wednesday broadcast by CNN, Trump repeated remarks that formed the basis of Carroll’s successful defamation claim, telling news anchor Kaitlan Collins that Carroll was a “wack job” who fabricated the assault – which was met with whistles and cheers by the Republican audience.

During the interview, Trump insulted well-respected Manhattan federal court Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over his case.

Asked whether she was considering more legal action in light of Trump’s latest remarks, Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, told the New York Daily News she was “thinking about it”.

Trump’s lawyer Tacopina declined to comment on the potentially new lawsuit.

In the notice of appeal filed in the lower court Thursday where Judge Kaplan presided over the trial, Trump’s lawyers wrote that “notice is hereby given that Defendant Donald J Trump appeals” to the 2nd Circuit.

Tacopina said in an email regarding the appeal: “Judge Kaplan has been overturned once already in Carroll v Trump. We are confident it will be twice after this appeal is heard.”

He was referencing Kaplan’s rejection of an attempt to substitute the United States for Trump as the defendant in an earlier defamation lawsuit filed by Carroll for statements Trump made while he was president. The 2nd Circuit later ruled that Trump was an employee of the government for purposes of the lawsuit, but the appeal has not been fully resolved.

Trump’s verdict was returned after a two-week trial in which Carroll testified that he had sexually attacked her in the luxury department store’s dressing room after a lighthearted and flirtatious chance encounter that took them from the store’s entrance to the desolate sixth-floor lingerie area, where Trump invited Carroll to help him shop for a gift.

She first publicly disclosed her experience in a 2019 memoir while Trump was still president. She said his public response was so harsh that it spoiled her reputation, cost her a 27-year job with Elle magazine and subjected her to mean social media attacks from his followers.

Trump, who is currently running for president as a Republican, did not attend the trial.

Source: News Agencies