Former President Donald Trump walked out of a New York City courtroom during the final arguments in the defamation case brought against him by writer E. Jean Carroll. As Carroll’s attorney accused Trump of believing that “the rules don’t apply to him,” NBC News reported that Trump abruptly left the courtroom, leaving everyone stunned.
The unexpected exit prompted Judge Lewis Kaplan to interrupt the closing arguments and state, “The record will reflect that Mr. Trump just rose and walked out of the courtroom,” as reported by Fox 5. This surprising act further added to the already tense atmosphere surrounding the trial.
During his testimony the day before, Trump defended himself against the defamation charge by claiming that Carroll had made a false accusation against him. The Associated Press reported that Trump stated, “I just wanted to defend myself, my family, and, frankly, the presidency.” However, the judge asked the jury to dismiss Trump’s remarks.
Judge Kaplan, who is overseeing the trial, had already ruled that Trump defamed Carroll. CBS News described Trump’s demeanor as stone-faced while he testified, maintaining that he stood by his previous deposition in which he denied ever meeting Carroll. When asked if he had instructed anyone to harm her, Trump firmly replied, “no.”
Carroll, a former advice columnist for Elle magazine, alleged in her 2019 book that Trump sexually assaulted her in the 1990s in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. In May 2022, Trump was found civilly liable for sexual assault, resulting in Carroll receiving approximately $2 million in compensation for the alleged assault and around $3 million for defamation related to Trump’s posts on Truth Social.
During Thursday’s proceedings, Carroll’s lawyers played video excerpts from Trump’s deposition, where he referred to the former columnist as “mentally sick” and a “whack job,” threatening to sue her, according to Reuters. Trump adamantly denied the allegations, stating, “It’s a false accusation, never happened, never would happen.”
The conclusions of the first lawsuit prevented Trump from offering any testimony disputing or undermining the sexual abuse allegations, as stated by Judge Kaplan. The Associated Press reported that the judge emphasized that the law does not allow for “do-overs by disappointed litigants.”
Carroll is now seeking a minimum of $10 million in her latest case against Trump. The closing arguments and decisions in this high-profile trial are expected to be made on Friday, leaving both parties and the public eagerly awaiting the outcome.