NEW YORK — A New York jury found former President Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing writer E. Jean Carroll in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s, it was announced Tuesday.
The jury awarded Carroll $5 million in damages for her battery and defamation claims.
“I filed this lawsuit against Donald Trump to clear my name and to get my life back. Today, the world finally knows the truth,” Carroll said in a statement Tuesday after the verdict was announced.
She did not speak to reporters as she exited the courthouse.
The jury was asked if Carroll had proven “by a preponderance of the evidence” that “Mr. Trump raped Ms. Carroll,” the nine-person jury checked the box that said “no.” However, when asked if Carroll had proven “by a preponderance of the evidence” that “Mr. Trump sexually abused Ms. Carroll,” the jury checked the box that said “yes.”
“No one is above the law, not even a former President of the United States. We are so thrilled that the jury agreed,” Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan said in a statement.
The verdict marks the first time a former president has been found civilly liable for sexual misconduct.
Trump, who is scheduled to appear on a CNN townhall on Wednesday night, reacted to the news on his social media website Truth Social.
“I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO THIS WOMAN IS. THIS VERDICT IS A DISGRACE — A CONTINUATION OF THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!” he wrote on Truth Social.
“Make no mistake, this entire bogus case is a political endeavor targeting President Trump because he is now an overwhelming front-runner to be once again elected President of the United States,” a Trump campaign spokesperson said.
“This case will be appealed, and we will ultimately win,” the statement added.
Republican GOP presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson said in a statement that Trump’s verdict will only taint the process if he wins the Republican nomination in 2024.
“The jury verdict should be treated with seriousness and is another example of the indefensible behavior of Donald Trump,” he said.