In a federal jury's decision on Friday, Trump ordered to pay $83 million in E. Jean Carroll case, accusing former President Donald Trump of defamation after he denied her rape allegations from the 1990s, which has ignited a political firestorm.
The jury mandated $18.3 million in compensatory damages and an additional $65 million in punitive damages. The ruling came from Federal Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who announced the verdict in the high-profile trial.
In response to the verdict, Trump took to his Truth Social platform, calling the decision "absolutely ridiculous" and announcing plans to appeal.
He framed the legal proceedings as a "Biden-directed witch hunt" and criticized the perceived infringement on his First Amendment rights.
The former president vehemently disagreed with both the recent and previous verdicts, in which he was ordered to pay $5 million.
The divisive verdict prompted strong reactions from political figures. Reverend Franklin Graham and Mike Davis accused Democrats of using legal avenues to target Trump. Graham asserted that Democrats were "using the system" to undermine the former president.
Meanwhile, Nikki Haley, a Republican presidential candidate, used the opportunity to criticize Trump, emphasizing the damages awarded and diverting attention from key national issues.
The online sphere became a battleground of opinions, with supporters of Trump denouncing the legal proceedings as part of a Democrat-led effort to tarnish his image.
Conservative figures like Benny Johnson, Clay Travis, and others questioned the legal rationale behind the defamation ruling, citing concerns about the weaponization of the legal system.
On the other side, E. Jean Carroll hailed the verdict as a "great victory" for women who choose to speak out against powerful figures. She expressed gratitude to her legal team and emphasized the importance of standing up to powerful individuals.
Despite concerns about the legal process, Carroll's attorney, Robbie Kaplan, hailed the verdict as proof that "the law applies to everyone."
The $83.3 million verdict included $18.3 million in compensatory damages and $65 million in punitive damages, highlighting the severity of the jury's stance.
The decision drew attention to the complexities of defamation cases involving public figures and added fuel to ongoing debates about the politicization of the legal system.
Donald Trump Jan. 26, 2024, in New York City.
Trump, who is currently the GOP frontrunner for the 2024 presidential race, has consistently denied the rape allegations.
The recent verdict adds another layer to the legal battles he faces, with his legal team vowing to appeal. The case has stirred discussions about the limits of defamation claims and the intersection of law and politics in high-profile trials.
E. Jean Carroll, visibly elated after the verdict, refrained from providing detailed comments but expressed her joy on social media with a single word: "Elation!!!"
The writer had accused Trump of rape at Bergdorf Goodman in 1996, and the jury found her claims had merit, awarding her a substantial amount in damages.
As the legal proceedings unfold, the case is likely to have lasting implications on Trump's political standing and the broader discourse around accountability for public figures.
The verdict is expected to fuel debates about the role of defamation claims in contemporary politics and the potential consequences for those accused of misconduct.