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E. Jean Carroll on jury's $83 million Trump ruling: "They said 'enough'"

E. Jean Carroll on $83 million Trump ruling
E. Jean Carroll on how jury’s $83 million Trump ruling sent a message: “They said ‘enough’ 07:21

E. Jean Carroll, a writer who accused former President Donald Trump of sexual assault and was awarded $83.3 million in damages on Friday for defamatory statements, says she believes the jury was sending a message with their verdict. 

"I think they said 'enough,'" Carroll said in an interview on "CBS Mornings" on Monday. "Enough saying horrible, slimy, terrible things about me."

Trump has vowed to appeal the decision by a federal jury in New York, which awarded Carroll $65 million in punitive damages and $18.3 million in compensatory damages for defamatory statements made after Carroll accused Trump in 2019 of sexually assaulting her in a department store dressing room decades earlier. When Trump denied the allegations, calling her a "whack job " and claiming they had never met, Carroll sued him.

Carroll's attorneys argued that Trump's comments subjected her to threats and ruined her reputation. A jury found the former president liable for defamation and sexual abuse in the first lawsuit last year. On Friday, the jury in the second trial was tasked with deciding what damages Carroll would receive. 

"Who can conceive of $83 million?" Carroll said of the amount she was awarded. 

"It's inspiring, this amount of money. We can do really a lot of good with this money," she said.  

E. Jean Carroll leaves Manhattan Federal Court following the conclusion of her civil defamation trial against former President Donald Trump on January 26, 2024 in New York City.
E. Jean Carroll leaves court following the conclusion of her civil defamation trial against former President Donald Trump on Jan. 26, 2024 in New York City. Michael M Santiago/GettyImages / Getty Images

Carroll described how "terrifying" it was as she anticipated seeing Trump in the courtroom, noting that she "lost language and had a breakdown" as she prepared for the moment. But when she saw him, that all changed.

"It turns out, he's nothing. The fear lifted," Carroll said. "He's just... he's nothing. I was terrified all this time. He is nothing."

Roberta Kaplan, Carroll's attorney, said Trump's continued behavior throughout the trial, both in the courtroom and through posts on social media, likely contributed to the jury's ruling. 

"He misbehaved in the courtroom frequently and he walked out on my closing arguments," Kaplan noted, "...During the trial he continued to post nasty, defamatory things about E. Jean on Truth Social, he did videos, he did press conferences, and we played that all for the jury. And we said, 'He can't respect our system. There was a verdict by a jury that said he can't do this anymore, and he keeps doing it.'"

And though Trump has so far avoided making comments about her after the latest ruling, Carroll indicated she doesn't expect the former president's behavior will stop. 

"If Donald Trump needs to use me again to raise campaign funds, I think he will do it," Carroll said. "He's just using us. And if he needs us, he will again."

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