E. Jean Carroll's attorney pushes back against Trump request for new trial

Roberta Kaplan argued the evidence supported the $ 5 million damage award.

June 22, 2023, 12:49 PM

E. Jean Carroll's attorney pushed back Thursday against former President Donald Trump's request for a new civil trial on sexual assault allegations.

There should be no reconsideration of the millions of dollars that a jury said Trump should pay to Carroll because "there is no valid basis for disturbing the damages that the jury awarded to Carroll" during a two-week trial in Manhattan federal court, Roberta Kaplan argued Thursday in a new court filing.

E. Jean Carroll leaves the Southern District of New York Court in Manhattan on April 26, 2023.
Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Daily News/TNS via Newscom

A Manhattan jury in May found Trump liable for sexually assaulting Carroll in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the mid-1990s and defaming her and ordered him to pay $5 million in damages.

Trump asked the judge earlier this month to order a new trial on damages, arguing the $5 million amount was "grossly excessive."

Kaplan urged the court to reject the request, arguing the evidence supported the damage award because it showed "Trump's traumatic attack would negatively affect Carroll for the rest of her life."

"Trump's motion is nothing more than his latest effort to obfuscate the import of the jury's verdict by engaging in his own particular Trump-branded form of magical thinking," Kaplan said in her opposition papers.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to speak at the Trump National Golf Club on June 13, 2023 in Bedminster, N.J.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE

"Carroll experienced chronic traumatic stress, feelings of shame and dirtiness, unwanted memories of the assault, a continuing inability to pursue romantic intimacy, and ultimately loss of companionship and partnership," Kaplan said.

Trump also argued the damage award was improper because the jury did not find Trump had raped Carroll, as she initially claimed, but sexually assaulted her.

"Trump cannot now demand that damages be based on some imaginary version of events in which he did nothing more than touch Carroll's breast through her dress," Kaplan wrote.

Trump may face Carroll again in court early next year. The judge set a January 2024 trial date for Carroll's original 2019 defamation lawsuit.

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