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Donald Trump is appealing the $83.3 million defamation trial victory of E. Jean Carroll

Donald Trump appeals E. Jean Carroll's $83.3 million defamation trial win

Former President Donald Trump appealed New York writer E. Jean Carroll's $83.3 million defamation trial victory on Friday, the same day he posted a bond of nearly $92 million to stop her from trying to collect.

The moves come as Trump scrambles to deal with the massive financial losses he is fighting across civil cases involving Carroll and the New York attorney general's office — totaling more than $500 million, including interest.

A New York appeals judge rejected Trump's request in late February to be allowed to post a bond of just $100 million in the attorney general case, in which he was found liable for fraud and is facing a judgment of more than $450 million, including interest that continues to grow.

A spokesperson for Carroll's legal team declined to comment Friday.

Why an $83.3 million verdict?

A jury hit Trump with $83.3 million in compensatory and punitive damages on Jan. 26 in a defamation case based on two lengthy denials Trump issued as president in 2019 to sexual assault allegations from Carroll. Those denials happened soon after Carroll went public. Her legal team argued that Trump unleashed his supporters against her, including by saying "people should pay dearly for such false accusations."

A previous jury had already awarded Carroll $5 million in May, in a trial over the assault allegations and a separate 2022 instance of defamation. Based on that verdict, Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled the 2019 statements were defamatory, and that the second trial would be limited to whether Trump needed to pay damages for them, and if so, how much.

Trump posted a torrent of attacks against Carroll on social media during the January trial, which became added fodder for her lawyers. Attorney Roberta Kaplan, who isn't related to the judge, told the jurors during closing arguments that Trump cares about money, and asked them to consider "how much it will take" in punitive damages to get Trump to leave her client alone.

Trump has always denied Carroll's assault allegations, and has already appealed the May verdict.

How long will Trump's appeal take?

Judge Lewis Kaplan still needs to rule on post-trial motions from Trump, including a request for the court to rule that Trump wins the case despite the jury's verdict and a request for a new trial.

The next step would be for a federal appeals court to handle the appeal. That could involve both sides filing briefs and a panel of judges hearing oral arguments, before the panel rules on the appeal.

Trump or Carroll could then ask for a wider slate of appellate judges to hear the appeal, and either one of them would also be able to go to the Supreme Court based on an issue lost during the appeal.

"Typically, the bond will stay in effect until the last of these avenues has been exhausted," Mitchell Epner, a New York litigator who specializes in commercial and white collar issues, told USA TODAY.

Epner estimated the appeal could take just a year or, if the Supreme Court ultimately got involved, could surpass 2.5 years.




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