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Jury orders Donald Trump to pay $83.3 million in defamation case

Trump was ordered to pay writer E. Jean Carroll for defamation, after he was earlier found liable for sexually abusing her

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Former President Donald Trump leaves his apartment building on Friday, Jan 26, 2024, in New York. Closing arguments were held Friday in the defamation case against Trump.

Former President Donald Trump leaves his apartment building on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024, in New York. After arguments Friday, Trump was ordered to pay $83.3 million for defamation.

Yuki Iwamura, Associated Press

Former President Donald Trump has to pay writer E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million for defaming her, a jury decided Friday. In an earlier civil trial, he was found liable for sexually abusing her.

Before the verdict sheet was completely read, the judge asked the presiding juror, “What does the ‘M’ mean?”

The juror answered, “Million,” per CNN.

The jury awarded Carroll $18.3 million for reputational and emotional harm for statements he made in 2019, and an additional $65 million in punitive damages. The jury gave Carroll eight times what she asked for, CNN added.

Following the close of the lawsuit, Trump posted to Truth Social, “Absolutely ridiculous! I fully disagree with both verdicts, and will be appealing this whole Biden Directed Witch Hunt focused on me and the Republican Party. Our Legal System is out of control, and being used as a Political Weapon. They have taken away all First Amendment Rights. THIS IS NOT AMERICA!”

“There is no longer Justice in America. Our Judicial System is Broken and Unfair!” he said in a separate post.

This is Carroll’s second defamation case against Trump. In May, she was awarded $5 million after a jury found Trump sexually abused and defamed her.

Trump walked out of a New York City courtroom Friday morning during final arguments in the defamation case brought against him by writer E. Jean Carroll.

Carroll’s attorney was saying Trump thinks “the rules don’t apply to him,” according to NBC News, when he abruptly left the courtroom.

The judge then interrupted closing arguments to say, “The record will reflect that Mr. Trump just rose and walked out of the courtroom,” according to Fox 5.

During his testimony in the case Thursday, Trump defended himself against the defamation charge by saying that Carroll had “said something that I considered to be a false accusation,” according to The Associated Press.

He later added, “I just wanted to defend myself, my family and, frankly, the presidency.”

Following Trump’s short response, the judge asked the jury to dismiss his remarks. Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is overseeing the trial, has already ruled that Trump defamed Carroll.

“Sitting stone-faced in the witness box, Trump testified that he stood by his earlier deposition in the case, in which he denied having ever met Carroll. He replied ‘no’ when his attorney Alina Habba asked if he had ever instructed anyone to hurt her,” per CBS News.

Carroll, a former advice columnist for Elle magazine, claimed in her book that was published in 2019 that she was sexually assaulted by Trump in the 1990s in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.

In May 2022, Trump was found civilly liable for sexual assault, and Carroll received about $2 million in compensation for the alleged assault and roughly $3 million for defamation, related to posts by Trump on Truth Social.

When Trump’s attorney asked him questions while on the stand Thursday regarding the accuracy of his statements during an October 2022 deposition, he said, “One hundred percent, yes,” per The New York Times.

On Thursday morning, “Carroll’s lawyers played videotaped excerpts from the deposition, in which Trump called the former Elle magazine advice columnist ‘mentally sick’ and a ‘whack job,’ and threatened to sue her,” according to Reuters.

“It’s a false accusation, never happened, never would happen,” Trump also said in the deposition.

According to The Associated Press, due to the first lawsuit’s conclusions, “Kaplan said Trump now couldn’t offer any testimony ‘disputing or attempting to undermine’ the sexual abuse allegations. The law doesn’t allow for ‘do-overs by disappointed litigants,’” the judge said.

Carroll is pursuing a minimum of $10 million in her latest case against Trump. Closing arguments and decisions will be made Friday.

Contributing: Suzanne Bates