Four months after a civil trial jury found that Donald Trump sexually abused and defamed advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday that still more of the ex-president’s comments about her were libelous.
The decision means that an upcoming second trial will concern only how much more he has to pay her.
The ruling stands to streamline significantly the second trial, set for January. It concerns remarks that Trump made in 2019, after Carroll first publicly claimed that he sexually attacked her in a dressing room after a chance meeting at a luxury department store in 1996. He denies that anything happened between them.
The first trial, this spring, concerned the sexual assault allegation and whether some 2022 Trump comments were defamatory. Jurors awarded Carroll $5 million, finding that she was sexually abused but rejecting her allegation that she was raped.
“The jury considered and decided issues that are common to both cases — including whether Mr. Trump falsely accused Ms. Carroll of fabricating her sexual assault charge and, if that were so, that he did it with knowledge that this accusation was false” or acted with reckless disregard for the truth, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in Wednesday’s decision.