E Jean Carroll to spend $83m defamation award on ‘something Donald Trump hates’

E Jean Carroll to spend $83m defamation award on 'something Donald Trump hates'
E Jean CarrollGetty Images

E Jean Carroll says she plans to spend some of the $83.3m (£65m) won in her defamation case against ex-US President Donald Trump on something he hates.

She said she had been “terrified” to face Mr Trump in court, but that her fear melted away once she saw him.

A judge ruled before the trial Mr Trump had defamed her by calling her sexual assault accusation against him a lie.

He was found liable last year for sexual abuse of Ms Carroll in the 1990s. Jurors rejected her rape claim.

Mr Trump has vowed to appeal, calling the outcome of the case “absolutely ridiculous”.

Ms Carroll, 80, told ABC News on Monday: “I’d like to give the money to something Donald Trump hates.

“If it will cause him pain for me to give money to certain things, that’s my intent.”

The former magazine columnist suggested the money could be used to set up a “fund for the women who have been sexually assaulted by Donald Trump”.

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Dozens of women have accused the former president of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment dating back to the 1970s. He denies wrongdoing.

Ms Carroll accused Mr Trump of forcing himself on her in a dressing room of the luxury Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan in the 1990s.

The writer – who conducted Monday’s interview seated beside her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan – said she had found it difficult to eat or sleep in the weeks leading up to the trial.

But she said her anxiety evaporated when she saw him in court.

“I looked out,” she said. “There he was and it was like he was like nothing – like an emperor without clothes.”

Ms Carroll told ABC some of the jurors smiled at her as they left court after their decision to award $18.3m for compensatory damages and $65m in punitive damages was announced.

“It made me burst into tears because they met my eyes for the first time,” she said.

Pending an appeal, Mr Trump, 77, must take steps to pay Ms Carroll, according to her lawyer.

Ms Kaplan said Mr Trump would either have to secure a bond, allowing him to avoid having to pay the full $83.3m right away.

But it would also require a bank to loan him a significant sum, carrying interest.

Mr Trump could also simply deposit $83.3m with the court.

When he was ordered to pay $5.5m for separate defamatory comments about Ms Carroll last year, he deposited the whole sum.

If he does neither of these things, Ms Carroll can “start collecting right away”, Ms Kaplan said, adding she was “confident” he would pay eventually.

Source: bbc.co.uk

By David Ryckman