Ex-writer who sued Trump seeks new damages for CNN comments

This combination of file pictures created on 9 May 2023 shows, writer E. Jean Carroll (L) at the Manhattan Federal Court in New York on 25 April 2023; and former US president Donald Trump at the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York on 4 April 2023. On 22 May 2023 former journalist E. Jean Carroll, to whom Donald Trump already owes 5 million dollars for a sexual assault in 1996, filed a new defamation suit for comments made by the former US president after the verdict. (Photo by Kena Betancur and Andrew KELLY / various sources / AFP)

Former US magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll — whom Donald Trump owes $5 million for 1990s sexual abuse for which a civil jury found him liable — is seeking new damages alleging the ex-president further defamed her after the verdict in that civil case.

“She’s a whack job,” the 2024 Republican primary candidate said on CNN the day after a New York jury found him liable for sexually abusing and defaming the Elle magazine writer earlier this month.

Those comments — with Trump adding that Carroll was telling a “made-up story” and that he didn’t know her — constitute further “defamatory statements,” Carroll’s lawyers argue.

In response, her lawyers filed an amended complaint to a 2019 defamation lawsuit Carroll had already brought against Trump — a separate, still-pending case different from the one decided on 9 May.

“Trump’s defamatory statements post-verdict show the depth of his malice toward Carroll since it is hard to imagine defamatory conduct that could possibly be more motivated by hatred, ill will, or spite,” the complaint reads.

“This conduct supports a very substantial punitive damages award in Carroll’s favor both to punish Trump, to deter him from engaging in further defamation, and to deter others from doing the same.”

The day before the CNN broadcast, a jury had found the former president liable in a civil case for sexually abusing Carroll, who said Trump raped her in a changing room at a New York department store in the 1990s.

The jury rejected Carroll’s rape allegation, but found Trump liable for sexual abuse and subsequent defamation when he called her “a complete con job” after she came forward with the allegations.

Trump denies the allegations and has appealed the judgment. No criminal case can stem from Carroll’s lawsuit.

Monday’s amended complaint is part of a separate defamation case — one that’s been delayed by procedural battles, including whether Trump is protected from comments he made about Carroll in 2019 by presidential immunity, since he was in the White House at the time.

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