Journalist and writer E. Jean Carroll has filed to amend one of the two defamation suits she has against Donald Trump after the comments he made during his CNN town hall during which he blatantly denied ever sexually abusing Carroll and even stated that he doesn’t know her.
On May 9, Trump was found liable for sexual battery and defamation in the civil case Carroll filed after she sued the former president in 2019 for publicly denying that he raped her in 1996 while at a department store. Damages of $5 million were rewarded, but it looks like he could find himself dishing out more cash for the most recent comments he made about Carroll.
In Manhattan federal court on Monday, Jean filed a new legal document seeking “a very substantial” amount of additional damages, per reports by The New York Times. Carroll’s first defamation suit was connected to remarks Trump made after the writer claimed she was raped by Trump in her 2019 memoir “What Do We Need Men For?”
This time Carroll wants added damages for the defamatory comments he made on May 10 during his Republican town hall on CNN. During the program Trump called Carroll a “whack job” and referred to her claims as a “made-up” and “fake” story. And though there was photographic proof that showed the two know one another, Trump said he’s never met her. He also stated that the judge finding him liable was a “rigged deal.”
In the court filing from Monday, Carroll’s legal team said Trump’s words from the town hall “show the depth of his malice toward Carroll, since it is hard to imagine defamatory conduct that could possibly be more motivated by hatred, ill will or spite.”
As part of the filing, Carroll is requesting that her 2019 defamation suit include not only the jury’s verdict finding him liable but also Trump’s CNN comments and the remarks he’s made about Carroll on the Truth Social social media platform.
“This conduct supports a very substantial punitive damages award in Carroll’s favor both to punish Trump, to deter him from engaging in further defamation, and to deter others from doing the same,” the filing continued.
Carroll and her attorney Robbie Kaplan appeared on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” last week to discuss the case, where Kaplan said Trump’s words laid out a clear field for them to take legal action.
“It’s definitely actionable,” Kaplan said. “And here the cruelty will make him less wealthy. He is not going to get away with it another time. It’s unprecedented for a person to have been held liable in defamation to keep doing the defamation, so there are not a lot of cases that we can look to for a playbook about how to do it.”