Roberta Kaplan, the out attorney who represented journalist E. Jean Carroll in her successful lawsuit against Donald Trump, told out journalist Rachel Maddow that they’re considering suing Trump again after his attacks on Carroll at CNN’s town hall event last week.
“It’s unprecedented for a person to have been held liable in defamation to keep doing the defamation,” Kaplan said. “So there are not a lot of cases that we can look to for a playbook about how to do it. But, suffice it to say, I have a lot of lawyers who are very busy looking into this, and we are weighing all of our options.”
Carroll says Trump sexually assaulted her in the mid-90s in a changing room at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in New York. She wrote about the attack in 2019 in her book What do We Need Men For?
Trump denied the allegations, saying that Carroll was “totally lying” and that “she’s not my type.” He asked his supporters to find proof that she was working for the Democratic Party or New York magazine, implying that she had a political agenda, and accused her of trying to sell books with the accusation. He continued to attack her as recently as October 2022, when he posted a lengthy statement to his social media platform Truth Social calling her accusations “a complete con job” and saying he didn’t know who she is, despite evidence that he had met her.
She sued Trump and, last week, she won. A jury agreed that she was sexually assaulted by Trump and that he defamed her and ordered him to pay her $5 million.
Just days later, Trump called Carroll a “whack job” and claimed he didn’t know her during a CNN town hall discussion.
“I don’t know her. I never met her. I had no idea who she is,” he said, refusing to answer a question about whether the verdict will hurt him with female voters. He then repeated Carroll’s claims in a mocking voice. The audience – made up of likely voters in the New Hampshire Republican primary – laughed as he attacked Carroll again.
Maddow said that while Carroll and Kaplan got some “accountability” from Trump, “he did it again, the defamation, the calling you a liar.”
“So it’s definitely actionable,” Kaplan responded. “And here the cruelty will make him less wealthy. He’s not going to get away with it another time.”
Late last week, Carroll made similar comments, saying that she sent Kaplan “the transcript of his comments, and that she had read only the first paragraph.”
“It’s just stupid, it’s just disgusting, vile, foul, it wounds people,” Carroll told the New York Times. “I am upset on the behalf of young men in America. They cannot listen to this balderdash and this old-timey view of women, which is a cave-man view.”