Updated Apr 25, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Trump's bid to slash $83M defamation payout to E. Jean Carroll rejected by judge

E jean Carrol and Trump

Left: E. Jean Carroll on Jan. 26. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images, Right: Former President Trump on April 25. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday rejected former President Trump's request to strike $83.3 million in damages he was ordered him to pay to writer E. Jean Carroll for defamation.

The big picture: Trump has made several attempts to appeal and reduce the judgment and push back its enforcement deadline.

Zoom in: Judge Lewis Kaplan denied Trump's request for a new trial and said in a written opinion that his "argument is entirely without merit both as a matter of law and as a matter of fact."

  • The judge also wrote that the punitive damages awarded by the jury "passes constitutional muster."
  • "Mr. Trump's malicious and unceasing attacks on Ms. Carroll were disseminated to more than 100 million people," Kaplan wrote. "They included public threats and personal attacks, and they endangered Ms. Carroll's health and safety."
  • The judge went on to write that the jury was "entitled to conclude that Mr. Trump derailed the career, reputation, and emotional well-being of one of America's most successful and prominent advice columnists and authors."

What they're saying: Carroll's attorney, Robbie Kaplan, said in a statement, that they are "pleased with though not surprised by" the court's decision.

  • "As the Court explained, it was entirely reasonable for the jury to award E. Jean Carroll $83 million in damages given Donald Trump's continued defamation of Ms. Carroll during the trial itself, as well as his conduct in the courtroom where his 'hatred and disdain [were] on full display,'" Kaplan added.
  • Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Catch up quick: A jury awarded Carroll the damages in January after finding that Trump had damaged Carroll's reputation after she accused him of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s.

  • Trump eventually posted a nearly $92 million bond in a New York court last month in order to appeal the $83.3 million in damages a jury ordered him to pay.
  • In New York, defendants in civil cases are required to pay a bond worth at least 110% of the judgment amount in order delay paying the penalty as they appeal.

Go deeper: Trump's nearly $92M bond in E. Jean Carroll lawsuit approved by judge

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the latest news.

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