Roberta Kaplan, a lawyer for advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, on Monday told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that Donald Trump’s slurs against her client during his controversial CNN town hall last week are “definitely actionable.”
Kaplan also teased an imminent development in another defamation case that Carroll has brought against the former president stemming from derogatory comments he made in 2019, when he was still in the White House.
A Manhattan jury last week found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation, and ordered him to pay $5 million in damages after Carroll alleged that he raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s and that Trump responded with insults and false claims that Carroll was lying.
The day after the verdict, Trump called Carroll a “whack job” and claimed he didn’t know her during the fiercely criticized CNN event. The supportive town hall audience lapped up Trump’s comments, even laughing in response.
Maddow on Monday noted that Carroll and her lawyer forced “accountability” on Trump, but pointed out that “he did it again, the defamation” while live on CNN.
“The calling you a liar. The exact same things the jury held him liable for the day before, he did again the next day on national television,” said Maddow. “Is that just the way it has to be? Do you think that potentially could be actionable, if you were to file another suit? Would it work the same way?”
“So, it’s definitely actionable,” Kaplan replied. “And here, the cruelty will make him less wealthy. He is not going to get away with it another time. It’s unprecedented for a person to have been held liable in defamation to keep doing the defamation, so there are not a lot of cases that we can look to for a playbook about how to do it.”
“But, suffice to say, I have a lot of lawyers who are very busy looking into this, and we are weighing all of our options,” Kaplan added.
Maddow highlighted another pending lawsuit that Carroll has brought against Trump, stemming from the 2019 slurs.
Kaplan suggested a development “very, very soon” in that case ― potentially “two to three days, max” ― saying “we will be able to move forward with damages in that case.”
“We don’t even need a finding of liability, because we already have it,” she explained. “And we will be able to find damages. And, there, the defamation damages are much higher, because that was the first statement he made.”
Watch the full interview here: