Trump attorneys post bond to support $83.3-million award to writer in defamation case

E. Jean Carroll leaves Federal court with other women.
E. Jean Carroll leaves federal court after a jury awarded her $83.3 million in a case against former President Trump in January.
(Yuki Iwamura / Associated Press)

Former President Trump has secured a bond sufficient to support an $83.3-million jury award granted to writer E. Jean Carroll during a January defamation trial stemming from rape allegations she made against Trump, his lawyer said Friday as she notified the federal judge in the case that an appeal was underway.

Attorney Alina Habba filed papers with the judge in New York showing that Trump had secured a $91.6-million bond from the Federal Insurance Co.

Habba simultaneously filed a legal notice that Trump, the 2024 Republican presidential front-runner, is appealing the jury’s verdict to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


The filings came a day after Judge Lewis A. Kaplan refused to delay next Monday’s deadline for posting a bond to ensure that Carroll, 80, can collect the $83.3 million if it remains intact after the appeals process.

The posting of the bond was required to postpone Trump’s payment of the entire award until the 2nd Circuit can rule.

The former president is facing financial pressure to set aside money to cover not only the judgment in the Carroll case, but 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 his $454-million civil fraud penalty while Trump appeals, leaving him until March 25 to either pay up or buy a bond covering the full amount. Interest on the judgment is mounting, adding roughly $112,000 each day.

His lawyers are seeking to have that judgment stayed on appeal, saying he might need to sell some properties to cover the penalty.

Judge Kaplan wrote on Thursday that additional financial harm to Trump was a result of his slow response to the late January verdict in the defamation case. He lost due to statements he made about Carroll in 2019, when he was president, after she said in a memoir that he’d raped her in spring 1996 in a Manhattan luxury department store dressing room.


Trump denied those allegations, saying that he didn’t know Carroll and that the encounter she described at a Bergdorf Goodman store across from Trump Tower never took place.

A jury awarded Carroll $5million last year after concluding that Trump had sexually abused her in the 1996 encounter, though it rejected her allegations of rape as it was defined by New York state law.

A portion of the award also stemmed from the jury’s finding that Trump had defamed Carroll with statements he made in October 2022.

January’s trial pertained solely to statements Trump made in 2019 as president. Kaplan instructed jurors that they must accept the findings of the previous jury and that they were only to decide how much, if anything, Trump owed Carroll for his 2019 statements.

Trump did not attend the trial last May, but for the January trial he testified briefly and regularly satwith defense lawyers — though his behavior, including disparaging comments he made that a lawyer for Carroll said were loud enough for jurors to hear, prompted Kaplan to threaten to banish him from the courtroom.

A Trump lawyer says the former president secured a bond to support an $83.3-million jury award granted to writer E. Jean Carroll in a defamation case.


Neumeister writes for the Associated Press.