Donald Trump, former President of the United States, created a stir in court when he abruptly left during a crucial moment of the ongoing damages trial. This trial, linked to the sexual assault allegations made by E. Jean Carroll against Trump, has captured national attention.
The jury later awarded Carroll a staggering $83.3 million in damages, concluding that Trump's repeated denials and attacks had caused her significant harm.
During the closing arguments of plaintiff attorney Roberta Kaplan, Trump's sudden departure came as a shock. Kaplan was arguing that Trump believes "the rules don't apply to him," and that his refutations of Carroll's allegations were "complete lies."
The courtroom drama continued as Trump returned approximately an hour later to hear his attorney Alina Habba's closing statements. Earlier in the trial, Judge Lewis Kaplan had to warn Trump about interrupting proceedings and admonished Habba for tardiness, even threatening contempt of court charges.
Habba's closing arguments included claims that Trump was merely expressing his truth in denying the allegations. However, the judge found this claim contentious enough to order it stricken from the record. Habba's approach, which cast doubt on the assault allegations, led to multiple objections from the plaintiff's side.
In a powerful rebuttal, Carroll's attorney emphasized that Trump had "lied and defamed her over and over again." This assertion was bolstered by a previous jury's decision, which found Trump liable for sexually abusing Carroll in the 1990s. This current trial focused solely on assessing the damages stemming from that verdict.
The timeline of events leading to this trial paints a long and complex legal battle. Carroll first publicized details of the alleged assault in 2019, prompting Trump to vehemently deny her claims and insult her. These actions led to a defamation case that culminated in the recent damages trial and saw a brief postponement due to juror illness and COVID-19 concerns.
Due to the prior findings of his liability, Trump's testimony, given briefly on Thursday, was limited in scope. The jury, after less than three hours of deliberation, reached a verdict, awarding Carroll $83.3 million in damages. This decision underscores the jury's agreement with Carroll's representation that Trump's denials were both false and damaging.
Roberta Kaplan, Carroll's attorney, commented on the jury's decision, underscoring the gravity of Trump's actions. She stated:
Ms. Carroll did not make it up, the sexual assault happened and his denials were all complete lies. He thinks with his wealth and power he can treat Ms. Carroll how he wants and will suffer no consequences.
Conversely, Alina Habba, Trump's attorney, argued that her client was merely stating his truth and should not be penalized for it. She maintained that Trump was not responsible for the actions of his social media followers who threatened Carroll, asserting that he had as much control over them as he does the weather.
In response to these claims, Carroll's attorney refuted the notion that Carroll sought attention or comments, insisting instead on the veracity of her client's allegations and the harm caused by Trump's repeated lies.
Donald Trump made headlines by abruptly exiting the courtroom during a pivotal moment of a damages trial related to sexual assault allegations by E. Jean Carroll, only to return later. The jury awarded Carroll $83.3 million, agreeing her reputation was significantly harmed by Trump's denials, which they deemed lies.
Trump's attorney, Alina Habba, faced rebukes for her conduct and arguments during the trial, which focused on Trump's denials and the impact on Carroll. The legal battle, initiated by Carroll's 2019 assault claims, culminated in this trial, with Trump's limited testimony due to a previous jury finding him liable for the assault.
Carroll's attorney argued that Trump's actions were deliberate and harmful, countering Habba's defense that Trump was merely speaking his truth.