Donald Trump appeals E Jean Carroll sexual abuse and defamation verdict

Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday appealed a New York jury's verdict in a civil case that he sexually abused and defamed writer E. Jean Carroll.

The jury in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday awarded Carroll, 79, $5 million in damages.

Carroll, sued Trump, 76, in 2022 with her allegation that he raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the mid-1990s, and then defamed her by denying it happened.

Following a two-week trial, the jury found Trump liable in the civil case for abuse and defamation but not rape, after just under three hours of deliberations. Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2024, did not attend the trial.

Court records showed on Thursday that Trump notified the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that he was appealing the verdict, as his lawyer Joseph Tacopina previously said he would.

In a televised town hall on Wednesday, Trump made several disparaging comments about Carroll that elicited applause and laughter from the audience of New Hampshire Republicans and independent voters who plan to vote in the state's Republican primary.

Carroll, a former columnist at Elle magazine, said in television interviews on Wednesday that she felt "fantastic" after the verdict. During three days of testimony during the trial, she said Trump coaxed her into a dressing room, slammed her head into a wall, pulled down her tights and pentrated her.

She also said the 2022 post on Truth Social in which Trump called her claims a "Hoax and a lie" harmed her reputation.

Legal experts have said the appeals process could potentially take years.

The case is one of several legal woes Trump is confronting as he mounts his campaign.

He pleaded not guilty last month to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records relating to a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 U.S. election, which was aimed at suppressing publication of her claims of a sexual encounter with him.

Trump separately faces two criminal investigations overseen by a U.S. Justice Department special counsel into his keeping classified documents after leaving office and his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss. He also faces a criminal investigation by a county prosecutor in Georgia relating to his efforts to undo his 2020 election loss in that state.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in all those matters and has called himself the victim of a politically motivated witch hunt.