Former US President Donald Trump has requested a new trial in the civil case brought against him by writer E. Jean Carroll. In the previous trial, a jury in Manhattan found Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming Carroll and awarded her $5 million in damages.
Trump's lawyers argued that the jury's award of $2 million for sexual abuse was excessive because Carroll was not found to have been raped, and the alleged conduct did not cause a diagnosed mental injury.
They also claimed that the $2.7 million defamation award was based on speculation. Carroll's lawyer dismissed Trump's arguments as frivolous.
Carroll's lawsuit, filed in 2022, accuses Trump of raping her in the mid-1990s and defaming her by denying it happened. Trump has called Carroll's claims a hoax. During the trial, two of Carroll's friends testified that she had confided in them about the rape. The trial also featured testimony from two other women who had alleged similar assaults by Trump in the past.
Trump's lawyers argued that Carroll's narrative was implausible and that she failed to provide evidence to support her damages claims. Carroll initially filed a separate lawsuit in 2019 for defamation only, which faced delays due to the question of whether Trump could be sued while serving as president.
In 2022, Carroll filed a second lawsuit for both defamation and battery after New York passed a law allowing sexual assault victims to sue even if the statute of limitations had expired.
Carroll sought to amend her first lawsuit to claim additional damages following Trump's comments on CNN after the verdict. Trump's lawyers argued that Carroll is seeking "double recovery" with the second lawsuit. They also argued that the jury's awards were disproportionate to similar cases and asked the judge to reduce them if a new trial is not granted.
Trump, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has appealed the verdict. Carroll's lawyer maintains that Trump will not escape the consequences of his actions, stressing that the jury unanimously found him liable for sexually abusing Carroll.
The judge has not yet ruled on Carroll's request to amend her lawsuit.