US jury finds Trump sexually abused writer in NY store
WASHINGTON – Donald Trump sexually abused magazine writer E Jean Carroll in the 1990s and then defamed her by branding her a liar, jurors decided on Tuesday, dealing the former US president a legal setback as he campaigns to retake office in 2024.
The nine-member jury in Manhattan federal court awarded about $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
The jury deliberated for just under three hours. It rejected Trump’s denial that he assaulted Carroll and ruled in her favour. The jury of six men and three women was required to reach a unanimous verdict to find him liable.
Carroll, 79, testified during the civil trial that Trump, 76, raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman department store dressing room in Manhattan in either 1995 or 1996, then harmed her reputation by writing in an October 2022 post on his Truth Social platform that her claims were a “complete con job,” “a hoax” and “a lie.”
President from 2017 to 2021, Trump is the front-runner in opinion polls for the Republican presidential nomination and has shown an uncanny ability to weather controversies that might sink other politicians.
It seems unlikely in America’s polarised political climate that the civil verdict will impact Trump’s core supporters, who view his legal woes as part of a concerted effort by opponents to undermine him.
“The folks that are anti-Trump are going to remain that way, the core pro-Trump voters are not going to change, and the ambivalent ones I just don’t think are going to be moved by this type of thing,” said Charlie Gerow, a Republican strategist in Pennsylvania.
Any negative impact is likely to be small and limited to suburban women and moderate Republicans, he said.