(Bloomberg) -- Former President Donald Trump asked a judge to grant him a new trial in the sexual assault and defamation suit filed against him by New York author E. Jean Carroll — or to sharply reduce the $5 million damages he was ordered to pay.
In a Thursday filing in Manhattan federal court, Trump said the May 9 jury award was “grossly excessive” because the panel found him liable for sexual abuse but not rape.
“Such abuse could have included groping Plaintiff’s breasts through clothing or similar conduct, which is a far cry from rape,” Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina argued in the filing.
If the judge declines to order a new trial, the damages should be cut by more than $4 million, Tacopina said. The lawyer said an award of in the “low six-figure range” for the abuse finding would be consistent with other verdicts “in favor of plaintiffs whose intimate parts were groped by a defendant.”
Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s lawyer, called Trump’s arguments against the damages award “frivolous” in a Thursday statement.
“The jury carefully considered the evidence that Ms. Carroll presented, and Trump did not put on a single witness of his own,” Kaplan said. “This time, Trump will not be able to escape the consequences of his actions.”
Trump has also appealed the verdict. The jury found that Trump sexually abused Carroll in a dressing room of the Bergdorf Goodman department store in 1996 and then defamed her by publicly denying it more than decades later. But the panel did not find Trump liable for rape, which largely refers to intercourse under New York law.
In Thursday’s filing, Trump said the damages were “clearly motivated by sympathy rather than by evidence of harm.” He also said that, because Carroll’s defamation claim was largely based on his denial of her rape allegation, it failed to the extent that the jury found him not liable for rape.
Read More: Trump Liable for Sex Abuse, Must Pay $5 Million to Carroll
(Updates with comment from Carroll’s lawyer.)
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