New York jury rules in favour of writer E. Jean Carroll in controversial defamation and sexual abuse trial
In a landmark verdict, a New York jury on Tuesday found former President Donald Trump liable for the sexual abuse and defamation of writer E. Jean Carroll, although not for rape, awarding her $5 million in civil damages.
This lawsuit was supported by anti-Trump lawyer George Conway and Democrat mega-donor Reid Hoffman, a known associate of the late convicted sex criminal, Jeffrey Epstein.
The jury delivered its verdict after brief deliberations, concluding a trial presided over by U.S. Judge Lewis Kaplan, a Bill Clinton appointee. Kaplan permitted character evidence, including the infamous Access Hollywood tape.
Trump, who did not testify in his defence, stated in a video deposition that he didn’t recall Carroll and wouldn’t have been attracted to her or her lawyer.
Despite Carroll’s inability to pinpoint the exact date or year of the alleged sexual abuse, Kaplan controversially allowed other women to testify about their similar experiences with Trump. Typically, such character evidence is not admissible except in specific circumstances.
However, given the non-criminal nature of the case, negative commentary on Trump’s refusal to testify was allowed, with the jury permitted to draw negative inferences.
Trump, voicing his response on his social media platform, Truth Social, decried the verdict, labeling it “A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!” He plans to appeal.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Trump campaign criticised the decision as a politically motivated witch hunt. “This entire bogus case is a political endeavour targeting President Trump because he is now an overwhelming front-runner to be once again elected President of the United States,” it read.
The statement also asserted that the case would be appealed, and they would “ultimately win.”
The verdict comes amidst recent revelations that Tara Reade, who has accused President Joe Biden of sexual assault, was invited to testify before Congress about her allegations, casting further spotlight on the issue of sexual misconduct within the political arena.