By Luc Cohen and Jack Queen
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Donald Trump on Thursday asked for a new trial in the civil case brought by E. Jean Carroll, in which a Manhattan jury last month found the former U.S. president liable for sexually abusing and defaming the writer and awarded her $5 million in damages.
In a filing in Manhattan federal court, Trump’s lawyers said the jury’s $2 million award for the sexual abuse portion of the verdict was “excessive” because the jury had found that Carroll was not raped, and that the conduct Carroll alleged did not cause any diagnosed mental injury.
They also said the $2.7 million award for the defamation claim was “based upon pure speculation.”
A lawyer for Carroll had no immediate comment. Trump denies the allegations and has appealed the verdict.
Carroll’s lawsuit, filed in 2022, said Trump raped her in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York in the mid-1990s, and defamed her by denying it happened. Trump has called Carroll’s claims a “hoax.”
Two of Carroll’s friends testified at trial that she told them about the rape after it occurred.
The trial also featured testimony from two women who alleged Trump assaulted them many years ago under similar circumstances, as well as taped deposition testimony by Trump in which he denies ever meeting Carroll.
Trump’s lawyers told jurors that Carroll’s narrative was implausible and said she had not provided evidence to back up her damages claims.
Carroll, a former Elle magazine advice columnist, filed a separate lawsuit in November 2019 for defamation only. That case has been bogged down in appeals over whether Trump was immune from being sued because he had been president when he spoke.
She filed her second lawsuit for both defamation and battery in 2022 after New York passed a law giving sexual assault victims a new window to sue even if the statute of limitations had passed.
Carroll in May sought to amend the first lawsuit with a claim for $10 million in additional damages over Trump’s comments on CNN after the verdict, where he called the case a “complete con job.”
Trump’s lawyers said in the filing on Thursday that Carroll is seeking “double recovery” with the second lawsuit.
They also argued that the jury’s awards were out of proportion to similar cases, asking U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan to reduce them if he rejects the bid for a new trial.
(Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot)
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