July 21st, 2024

Trump attorneys post $92 million bond to support jury award to E. Jean Carroll in defamation suit

By Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press on March 8, 2024.

FILE - E. Jean Carroll arrives at Manhattan federal court, May 9, 2023, in New York. Lawyers for Carroll have urged a judge, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, to reject former President Donald Trump's efforts to avoid posting security to secure an $83.3 million defamation award won by the writer. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – Donald Trump has secured a $91.6 million bond sufficient to cover the money he owes to writer E. Jean Carroll in a defamation lawsuit while he appeals the jury’s verdict, the former president’s lawyer told a court on Friday.

Attorney Alina Habba filed papers with the New York judge to show that Trump had secured the bond from the Federal Insurance Co., a unit of the insurance giant Chubb. The bond would cover the $83.3 million judgement in the lawsuit, plus interest.

Habba simultaneously filed a notice showing Trump, the likely 2024 Republican presidential nominee, is appealing the verdict. The posting of the bond was a necessary step to delay payment of the award until the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals can rule on Trump’s legal challenge.

The filings came a day after Judge Lewis A. Kaplan refused to delay a Monday deadline for posting a bond to ensure that Carroll, 80, can collect the judgement if it remains intact following appeals.

Trump faces financial pressure to set aside money to cover both the judgment in the Carroll case and an even bigger one in a lawsuit in which he was found liable for lying about his wealth in financial statements given to banks.

A New York judge recently refused to halt collection of a $454 million civil fraud penalty while Trump appeals. He now has until March 25 to either pay up or buy a bond covering the full amount. In the meantime, interest on the judgment continues to mount, adding roughly $112,000 each day.

Trump’s lawyers have asked for that judgment to be stayed on appeal, warning he might need to sell some properties to cover the penalty.

A civil jury in New York last May found that Trump had sexually abused Carroll in 1996 in the dressing room of a luxury department store in Manhattan.

Trump, 77, vehemently denies the claims, saying that he didn’t know Carroll at the time and that the encounter at a Bergdorf Goodman store never took place.

That jury awarded Carroll $5 million to compensate her for both the alleged sexual assault and for damage to her reputation when Trump said publicly that she made up the attack to help sell a memoir.

A second trial was held in January to decide how much more Trump might owe Carroll for derogatory comments he made about her in 2019 while he was president. Kaplan instructed the jury that it must accept the earlier jury’s findings that the sexual abuse had happened.

Trump did not attend the May trial. He testified briefly and regularly sat with defense lawyers at the January trial, held in Manhattan, though the judge threatened to banish him from the courtroom for muttering disparaging comments about the case that were potentially loud enough for jurors to hear.

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