Lizzo was right: Truth Hurts. Two of Donald Trump’s “Truths” on his own Truth Social platform will cost the ex-president millions, even as he avoids full liability for the alleged rape of magazine writer E. Jean Carroll in the mid-1990s.
According to reports coming out of the courtroom, the federal jury of six men and three women told the court Tuesday afternoon that they had determined Trump sexually abused Carroll and that the former president had injured her reputation through a series of posts on Truth in October last year. He’s now liable for $2 million in damages for sexually abusing and an additional $3 million for defaming Carroll. Trump’s attorneys said they will appeal.
In those two Truth Social posts, Trump said the case was “a made up SCAM,” called her lawyer “a political operative, financed by a big political donor.” He also wrote “Does anybody believe that I would take a then almost 60 year old woman that I didn’t know, from the front door of a very crowded department store, (with me being very well known, to put it mildly!), into a tiny dressing room, and …. her.”
The jury said they determined Trump knew his statement about the lawsuit being a hoax was false, and thus defamatory under New York’s stringent standard of “actual malice.” As reported by The New York Times, Medill School of Journalism professor Ashlee Humphreys testified on behalf of Carroll during the trial that it would cost Carroll $2.7 million to repair reputational damage caused by Trump.
The reputational damages specifically include $1 million in damages unrelated to a reputation repair initiative, and another $1.7 million to mend her image.
Trump’s legal team was ready right out of the court with a lengthy and rambling response to the verdict, proclaiming that the verdict was all a ploy by the Democratic Party. His spokespeople further mentioned there were “false and totally made-up claims from troubled individuals to interfere with our elections, doing great damage.” Of course, Trump would know all about made-up claims doing great damage to U.S. elections.
Though Trump did not seem too aware how his Truths contributed to the damages owed. Just minutes after the verdict was read out in court, Trump posted on Truth Social “I have absolutely no idea who this woman is. The verdict is a disgrace - a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time.”
Trump never testified at the trial despite his invite being extended through last weekend. He did provide some comments in a video deposition where he further claimed Carroll was “not my type.”
Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, reportedly told the jury that Carroll’s account was “unbelievable” and that she had used the accusation to sell a 2019 book where she originally accused the former president of sexually abusing and raping her at a department store in 1996.
The former president has been on a Truth Social kick as of late, repeatedly proclaiming he was the subject of some great “witch hunt” against him after he was charged with using campaign funds to pay affair hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels. He further called Daniels, AKA Stephanie Clifford, “Horseface” and tried to paint the federal charges as an “extortion plot.”
Though Trump is contractually obligated to post on the social media platform he helped found, Truth Social itself isn’t doing too well. The company is under the cloud of a federal investigation, and the company has warned it could lose its place on the Nasdaq stock exchange due to not paying its necessary fees.
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