Former President Trump encountered another legal setback on Wednesday when a federal judge determined that he is accountable for damages in a separate lawsuit brought by writer E. Jean Carroll.
Carroll had previously won a defamation lawsuit against Trump earlier this year, and Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled on Wednesday that her triumph in that case extends to her lawsuit concerning Trump’s 2019 remarks about Carroll.
Judge Kaplan’s ruling emphasized that the veracity of Trump’s 2019 statements is contingent upon whether Carroll lied about Trump sexually assaulting her, paralleling the truth or falsehood of his 2022 statement. Consequently, the jury’s verdict that she did not lie binds this case, preventing Trump from disputing the accuracy of his 2019 statements.
A trial to determine damages for Trump’s actions is scheduled for January 15 of the following year.
This ruling comes approximately one month after Lewis dismissed Trump’s counterclaim alleging that Carroll had made false statements about him during the case, damaging his reputation.
Carroll had accused Trump of raping her in 1996 and filed a defamation lawsuit in 2022 after Trump labeled her as a liar. In May, she was awarded $5 million in the defamation case, as the jury concluded that Trump had sexually assaulted her and acted with “actual malice” when he accused her of falsehood.
The previous jury’s decision remains in force for the upcoming trial on January 15, which revolves around similar statements made by Trump about Carroll in 2019. The recent ruling pointed out that these statements were largely analogous to those for which Trump had already been held responsible in the prior case, negating the need for the jury to decide anything beyond quantifying the damages Trump owes Carroll.
Trump has criticized his losses to Carroll on social media, referring to them as “a Miscarriage of Justice and a total Scam.”
He expressed his dissatisfaction with the previous trial, alleging unfairness and bias, particularly targeting the judge’s conduct, in a July post.