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E. Jean Carroll seeks ‘very substantial’ new damages after Trump called her a ‘wack job’ in CNN town hall

Trump blasted Carroll as a "wack job" the day after a federal court jury found him liable for sexually abusing and defaming her, and awarded her $5 million.

Writer E. Jean Carroll on Monday asked a judge to update her still pending original defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump to add a new claim after he trashed her as a "wack job" during his CNN town hall earlier this month.

In a court filing late Monday, Carroll attorney Roberta Kaplan said her client will be seeking a "very substantial punitive damages award" for Trump's remarks.

Trump made the comments a day after a federal court jury in New York found Trump liable for sexually abusing Carroll in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s and then defaming her for calling her claims fraud. The jury awarded Carroll $5 million in damages.

Republican Presidential Town Hall with former President Donald Trump moderated by Kaitlan Collins on May 10, 2023.
Republican Presidential Town Hall with former President Donald Trump moderated by Kaitlan Collins on May 10, 2023.CNN

Trump complained about the verdict on his social media platform Truth Social shortly afterwards, and went on a tirade about Carroll during a CNN town hall the next night, the proposed amended complaint filed by Carroll's attorney notes.

Asked about his reaction to the verdict by CNN moderator Kaitlan Collins, Trump responded "by repeating many of the same defamatory statements for which the jury had just found him liable the day before," the filing said.

"During the exchange, Trump falsely stated that he did not sexually abuse Carroll, that he has no idea who Carroll was, and that Carroll’s now-proven accusation was a 'fake' and 'made up story' created by a 'wack job,'" among other insults, according to the filing.

"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," it said.

The amended suit seeks a total of at least $10 million in compensatory damages for her defamation claims and additional "punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial."

Trump lawyer Alina Habba said in a statement to NBC News that “Ms. Carroll’s eleventh hour attempt to amend her complaint exposes the true motivation behind her numerous lawsuits.”

The new legal action did not stop Trump from bashing Carroll on Truth Social again early Tuesday morning. In a pair of posts, he complained about her “Fake, Made Up Story” and said it “NEVER HAPPENED, IS A TOTAL SCAM, UNFAIR TRIAL!” 

E. Jean Carroll walks out of Manhattan federal court, Tuesday, May 9, 2023, in New York. A jury has found Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing the advice columnist in 1996, awarding her $5 million in a judgment that could haunt the former president as he campaigns to regain the White House. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
E. Jean Carroll walks out of Manhattan federal court, in New York, on May 9.Seth Wenig / AP file

Trump waived his right to testify in the civil trial earlier this month, but jurors saw his videotaped deposition testimony from October where he denied Carroll's account and repeatedly insulted her.The civil case, which went to trial last month, was actually Carroll's second lawsuit against Trump. Her first alleged that he defamed her by calling her a liar after she initially went with public with her claim in 2019, while he was still president.

That case was tied up on appeal over issues relating to whether Trump could be held liable for comments he made while president.

A Washington appeals court sent the case back to New York for further proceedings, and it's again pending before U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over the recent trial.

Trump has filed notice that he's appealing the $5 million verdict.