Trump posts $91 million bond to appeal E. Jean Carroll defamation verdict

Former President Donald Trump deposited a bond of more than $91 million on Friday to appeal the $83 million judgment against him in the case brought by E. Jean Carroll, a writer he defamed after she accused him of sexual abuse, according to a court filing.

Trump's attorneys notified the federal court in Manhattan that he had posted a bond of $91,630,000, coinciding with a notice that he had appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. The bond payment is equal to 110% of the judgment against him, representing the amount he was required to provide to stay enforcement of the judgment while he appeals.

The Jan. 26 decision was the second time in less than a year that a jury had ruled in favor of Carroll, who accused Trump of attacking her in a New York department store in the 1990s. In May 2023, a different federal jury awarded Carroll an additional $5 million in damages, finding Trump liable for sexual abuse and a separate defamation claim.

Jurors in both cases unanimously reached their verdicts within hours.

The verdict in Carroll's second trial came just weeks before a New York judge ordered Trump to pay more than $450 million for fraud. The combined decisions plunged the Republican candidate for president into severe financial turmoil.

Roberta Kaplan, an attorney for Carroll, declined to comment on Trump's appeal.

The move came one day after U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan — who is overseeing the case, and is not related to Carroll's attorney — declined to issue a temporary stay that would have paused the judgment without requiring Trump to post the bond. A spokesperson for Trump's campaign criticized that decision in a statement to CBS News on Friday, calling it "a continuation of a totally lawless witch hunt." 

"President Trump filed a timely motion to stay the ridiculous judgment, and many courts, including the Second Circuit, recognize the importance of temporary administrative stays while such motions are considered," spokesperson Steven Cheung said. "We look forward to continuing to litigate the case and to complete vindication of the truth."

The E. Jean Carroll trial

E. Jean Carroll leaves the federal courthouse in Manhattan after the conclusion of her civil defamation trial against former President Donald Trump on Jan. 26, 2024. Michael M Santiago/GettyImages / Getty Images

Trump attended nearly all of the January trial, and briefly testified in his own defense. He left the courthouse half an hour before the jury awarded Carroll $18.3 million in compensatory damages, and $65 million in punitive damages.

Repeatedly referencing the May 2023 verdict, which had failed to prevent Trump from repeating statements similar to those deemed defamatory, Carroll's attorneys asked the jury throughout the trial to fine Trump enough to "make him stop."

The effort appears to have worked so far.

Trump, who had frequently called Carroll a "liar" and the cases against him a "hoax," has not repeated any of the claims that led to his dual defamation defeats.

Carroll, a well-known advice columnist, wrote in a 2019 book that Trump sexually assaulted her during a chance encounter in New York's high-end Bergdorf Goodman department store in 1995 or 1996. Trump, who was president at the time, immediately denied the allegations, calling Carroll a "whack job" and claiming he had never met her. He would go on to repeat similar denials in public appearances, social media posts and even in court, a pattern cited by Carroll's attorneys during the trial.

Carroll's legal team highlighted a long series of posts, text messages and emails threatening violence and rape against Carroll after Trump's denials. They said she was inundated with hateful messages that increased whenever Trump launched public attacks, and receded during interim periods.

Trump's attorney, Alina Habba, focused on what she called a "five-hour gap" in 2019 between when Carroll's allegations first surfaced and Trump's first defamatory statement. Habba said Carroll hadn't proved "causation" between Trump's comment and the ensuing harassment Carroll received.

Habba repeated that argument in a recent motion asking the judge in the case to disregard the jury's verdict, saying the findings were "based on 'confusion, speculation or prejudice' as opposed to the 'evidence presented at trial.'"

Habba and the judge clashed frequently during the trial, frequently engaging in heated disagreements over courtroom procedures and rulings. Habba said that dynamic was unfair to her client, and reiterated that criticism in a statement Friday.

"Due to the numerous prejudicial errors made at the lower level, we are highly confident that the Second Circuit will overturn this egregious judgment," Habba said. 


We and our partners use cookies to understand how you use our site, improve your experience and serve you personalized content and advertising. Read about how we use cookies in our cookie policy and how you can control them by clicking Manage Settings. By continuing to use this site, you accept these cookies.