Former President Donald Trump has been ordered by a federal court jury to pay author and journalist E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million in damages for slandering her when she accused him of rape in 2019. This is a strong decision that could have far-reaching effects.
The unanimous decision was made Thursday, after the judges had been talking about it for less than three hours. There will be $7.3 million in compensatory damages and $65 million in punitive damages. This is more than 15 times the $10 million Carroll had asked for.
The verdict is a turning point in Carroll’s long legal fight with Trump. It also sets a new standard for protecting victims against attacks on their credibility.
Carroll said, “This is a huge victory not only for me but for every woman who has ever been put down and humiliated by a powerful man.”
The Case That Captivated America
Carroll has been writing an advice piece for Elle magazine for a long time. In 2019, she first told the public about her claims against Trump when she said he had raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the mid-1990s. The claims were strongly rejected by Trump, who said, “she’s not my type” and that Carroll was “totally lying” to get a new book deal.
Then Carroll sued Trump for defamation, saying that his insulting comments about her, like denying the rape happened and questioning her honesty, hurt her feelings and image.
Over the course of three wild years, new information about the case has kept Americans glued to their screens. Carroll has refused to give up, even when Trump tried over and over to stop the proceedings.
Carroll sobbed in court last week, “I will never forget that day.” “The pain was unbearable.”
A Defining Moment for Victims’ Rights
Lawyers are calling Thursday’s historic decision a turning point for the #MeToo movement. This is the first time that a court has given a powerful guy a serious punishment for calling a woman’s harassment claims into question.
A lawyer named Moira Penza said, “This is the first time a sexual assault denial has had major legal consequences.” “This makes it clear that these kinds of attacks will not be accepted, no matter how well-known or powerful the denied facts are.”
Many people also think that the big damages will stop people from trying to silence victims in the future.
A lawyer named Fiona Appleton said, “This verdict sends a loud and clear message to rich men who try to abuse the legal system: their bullying will cost them.” “Going forward, more victims will feel safe enough to tell the truth without fear.”
What Comes Next
In a statement, Alina Habba, a lawyer for Trump, said she would appeal the decision and said the jury was biased. But now that Carroll’s claims have been proven in public, experts say it will be hard for Trump to change a decision that was made after careful consideration by all twelve judges.
Many people will keep their eyes on America’s most famous #MeToo case as Carroll continues her search for justice. Friday’s strong decision in favor of the victim is likely just the beginning of how this case will affect people for a long time.
Carroll told the press, “Today is a big day for our culture and our courts.” “People have heard my story—the real story.” That one woman’s voice does matter, and I am filled with thanks.