Former President Donald Trump, a frequent target of frivolous lawsuits, is facing off against E. Jean Carroll, a woman who is suing him for defamation damages. According to her testimony, Carroll claims that Trump’s denial and insults have ruined her reputation after she accused him of sexual assault at a department store decades ago.
— Quin Hillyer (@QuinHillyer) January 18, 2024
Trump, who made a brief appearance in the New York courtroom, was absent the next day as he attended a funeral in Florida. Carroll endured tough questioning from Trump’s lead attorney, Alina Habba, who suggested that Carroll had profited from the attention and controversy surrounding her allegations.
Habba grilled Carroll about her book sales and television appearances, insinuating that she had benefitted from Trump’s comments. The expert witness, Northwestern sociology professor Ashlee Humphreys, testified that the costs to repair Carroll’s reputation could amount to millions of dollars due to the extensive reach of Trump’s statements.
Humphreys noted that a significant number of people had been exposed to Trump’s comments about Carroll, and repairing the damage would require repetitive corrective messaging. She also highlighted that this was not her first time serving as an expert witness in a defamation case related to Trump, referencing Rudy Giuliani’s recent costly defeat in a similar lawsuit.
Trump’s legal team contended that his supporters were already inclined to dismiss Carroll’s accusations and side with him, suggesting that the former president’s influence on their opinions was minimal. The defense also questioned whether Trump’s testimony would have any impact on the public’s perception of Carroll’s allegations.
Despite being admonished by the judge to refrain from commenting on the trial, Trump took to social media to reassert his innocence and claim victimhood in the face of yet another “discredited” attack orchestrated by Democratic operatives.
The trial remains ongoing, with the possibility of Trump taking the stand in his defense. As the legal battle unfolds, the public awaits the outcome of this latest episode in the saga of Trump’s legal woes.