Columnist adds Trump’s post-verdict comments to pending defamation case

NEW YORK (AP) — Lawyers for a columnist who won a $5 million sexual abuse and defamation award against former President Donald Trump filed an amended lawsuit against him on Monday seeking to hold him liable for remarks he made after the verdict.

The amended lawsuit, seeking at least $10 million in compensatory damages, was filed in Manhattan federal court by lawyers for E. Jean Carroll, who says remarks by Trump after she made rape allegations against him so spoiled her reputation that she lost her longtime job as an Elle magazine advice columnist.

A nine-person jury two weeks ago decided that Trump had sexually abused Carroll at an upscale Manhattan department store in early spring 1996.

Carroll, who testified during the trial, first revealed in a 2019 book her claims that Trump raped her in a dressing room, but the jury rejected that claim.

Joe Tacopina, a Trump lawyer, declined to comment on the new claims.

Kaplan filed the new claims in amending a defamation lawsuit that was put on hold as an appeals court was deciding whether Trump could be held liable for remarks he made in 2019 while he was still president. The U.S. Justice Department has supported his lawyers’ claims that the United States should be substituted as the defendant.

In the new claim, Carroll’s lawyers said Trump, “undeterred by the jury’s verdict, persisted in maliciously defaming Carroll yet again” the next day during a “town hall” event hosted by CNN.

“He doubled down on his prior defamatory statements, asserting to an audience all too ready to cheer him on that ‘I never met this woman. I never saw this woman,’ that he did not sexually assault Carroll, and that her account — which had just been validated by a jury of Trump’s peers one day before — was a ‘fake,’ ‘made up story’ invented by a ‘whack job.’ Those statements resulted in enthusiastic cheers and applause from the audience on live TV,” the lawyers wrote.

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