E. Jean Carroll, the plaintiff in a defamation case against former President Donald Trump, has formally requested a judge to amend her initial lawsuit to pursue further punitive damages in light of Trump’s recent repetition of his defamatory statements at a CNN town hall event.
The request for amendment was submitted in a letter to the judge, seeking clarification and guidance regarding the original lawsuit, particularly in light of a recent civil jury verdict. The jury ruled in Carroll’s favor, determining that Trump had sexually abused her and awarding her a sum of $5 million in damages.
Carroll’s legal team argues that Trump’s reiteration of the defamatory statements during the CNN town hall directly relates to the issue of punitive damages, which are designed to penalize the defendant for their actions.
The initial defamation lawsuit, which was put on hold during the appeals process, pertains to Trump’s statements made in 2019 when he was serving as the President. However, the trial specifically involved a statement made by Trump in 2022.
Prior to the trial, an appeals court returned the original lawsuit to the lower court judge for further consideration. It now falls upon the judge to determine whether the lawsuit can proceed.
Carroll has accused the former president of raping her in the mid-1990s at the Bergdorf Goodman department store. She further alleges that Trump defamed her by denying the claim, stating she wasn’t his type, and suggesting she fabricated the story to boost sales of her book.
Trump has consistently denied all allegations made by Carroll and has appealed the jury’s verdict.
While the jury concluded that Trump sexually abused Carroll, a finding sufficient to hold him liable for battery, they did not find that Carroll had proven her claim of rape.
Trump wasted no time in seizing upon this aspect of the jury’s decision during a CNN town hall held in New Hampshire, the day after the verdict was reached. He emphasized, “They said, ‘He didn’t rape her.’ And I didn’t do anything else either.”
Trump went on to dismiss Carroll’s accusations, labeling her story as false and concocted, referring to her as a “whack job,” and diverting the discussion toward her ex-husband and pet cat.