The $83m humiliation for Donald Trump - and it's just the start of his legal troubles

Trump has been ordered to pay an eyewatering $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll, after lying about sexually abusing her, ITV News Correspondent Robert Moore reports

She emerged from the courthouse wearing sunglasses and with a huge smile, accompanied by her lawyers and closest supporters. For E Jean Carroll it was a sweet and dramatic legal victory. She will receive over $83 million (around £65,000,000) in damages from Donald Trump, a sum so large that even he will struggle to find the money without selling one of his prized properties. For the former president it is a deep humiliation. The nine New York jurors in this civil case were sending Mr Trump a message. There are severe consequences for seeking to destroy Ms Carroll's reputation and adding to her emotional anguish, a woman he has already been convicted of sexually assaulting. For Carroll, it is the end of a legal saga that began when in 2019 she made the explosive claim that Mr Trump had assaulted her in a New York department store in the 1990s. It eventually went to trial and in May 2023 she was vindicated by the verdict backing her view of what happened in that encounter three decades earlier.

A triumphant E. Jean Carroll leaving federal court on Friday. Credit: AP

But it didn't end there. Then came Mr Trump’s barrage of insults and invective aimed at Carroll, accusing her of being a liar. It was those later comments that led to Friday’s colossal defamation damages. Ms Carroll said in a statement yesterday: “This is a great victory for every woman who stands up when she’s been knocked down and a huge defeat for every bully who has tried to keep a woman down.” This is just the start of Trump’s legal nightmare. In addition to this civil defamation trial, he faces 91 criminal charges in four cases in four different jurisdictions. Two are federal trials, two are state cases. It will dominate his year, even as he seeks the presidency. Last night he posted this defiant message on his social media platform, Truth Social: “Absolutely ridiculous! I fully disagree with both verdicts, and will be appealing this whole Biden Directed Witch Hunt focused on me and the Republican Party.

"Our Legal System is out of control, and being used as a Political Weapon. They have taken away all First Amendment Rights. THIS IS NOT AMERICA!”

Mr Trump leaving his apartment building on Friday. Credit: AP

It is all a reminder that even if Trump is nearly certain to win the Republican Party presidential nomination he faces huge obstacles. His political and legal calendars are already colliding. It will only get worse as the more significant criminal trials begin. His core supporters may not mind. They are fully committed to the Trump narrative that everything is a hoax and a scam by the liberal elite trying to destroy the former president. But independent and centrist voters may care a great deal. So will another group close to Trump's heart. His bankers.

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