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Trump Appeals Carroll Sexual Assault Verdict Granting Damages

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump is appealing the verdict of a New York jury that found him liable for sexually abusing and defaming New York author E. Jean Carroll and awarded her $5 million in damages.

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The former president’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, filed a notice of appeal in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday, two days after a jury of six men and three women decided against Trump after deliberating for less than three hours. The panel heard from almost a dozen witnesses over seven days of testimony.

Carroll, 79, claims Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in 1996 and defamed her last year by calling her a liar. Trump, 76, denies attacking Carroll and argues her lawsuit was politically motivated.

After the verdict, Tacopina vowed to appeal on a variety of grounds, including by arguing that US District Judge Lewis Kaplan should not have allowed the jury to hear the so-called Access Hollywood tape. The 2005 hot-mic recording captures Trump making unguarded remarks about kissing women without consent and boasting that famous men can get away with groping women.

Read More: Trump ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape Can Be Played at Carroll Trial

The tape “should not have come into this case, and we’ve made many motions that create issues for appeal, and we’re going to employ them,” Tacopina told reporters after the verdict was handed down.

Tacopina declined to comment Thursday. Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the challenge.

Trump’s lawyer also has argued the judge should not have allowed testimony from Natasha Stoynoff, a former People magazine writer who said Trump sexually assaulted her at this Mar-a-Lago estate when she was interviewing him for a story in December 2005. Tacopina said her claims weren’t relevant to Carroll’s case, but the judge disagreed.

“The alleged acts are far more similar than different in the important aspects,” the judge said in a March ruling. “In each case, the alleged victim claims that Mr. Trump suddenly attacked her sexually.”

Tacopina has also argued the judge erred by barring him from mentioning at trial that Carroll’s lawyers were financially supported by billionaire LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, a major Democratic party donor. The lawyer wanted to flag the money as evidence that the case was politically motivated.

Carroll sued Trump in November under a New York law that temporarily lifted the statute of limitations on civil sexual-abuse claims even if they are decades old. The trial is the first major test of the rare statute.

The case is Carroll v. Trump, 22-cv-10016, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

(Updates with background on case.)

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