Lawyer Tells Us What Will Happen If Trump Can't Pay $83.3 Million In Damages To E. Jean Carroll

The following article includes mentions of rape and sexual assault.

Donald Trump was ordered to pay E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million in damages on January 26 after a jury found he had defamed the writer by denying her allegations of sexual assault. It was a sweet victory for Carroll, who has fought an intense legal battle against Trump. Still, will she ever see a penny of the settlement? 

Trump wasn't in the courtroom to hear the judgment come down. He'd stormed out of the proceedings during closing arguments. But Trump still had plenty to say about the decision. "Absolutely ridiculous! I fully disagree with both verdicts and will be appealing this whole Biden Directed Witch Hunt focused on me and the Republican Party," he posted on Truth Social, claiming his First Amendment rights had been violated.

Pundits have speculated that Carroll won't see a penny of the awarded sum. However, she's confident Trump will cough it up. "I think he's gonna have to pay — and whether it requires him to sell something or to put a lien on something to get a loan, that's his problem, not ours," Carroll's attorney, Roberta Kaplan, told Anderson Cooper. "He's gonna pay, and [Judge Louis Kaplan], through judgment-enforcement mechanisms, will make sure that he pays. And indeed, even to take the appeal, he's going to have to at least put up a bond of 20% of the amount." A lawyer tells us what will happen if Trump doesn't pay the damages to Carroll.

Donald Trump could face judgement

Donald Trump wasn't in the courtroom when a jury ordered him to pay E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million on January 26. Still, just because he wasn't there doesn't mean he doesn't have to pay. It's highly likely that Trump has a different opinion regarding the latter, though. Camron Dowlatshahi, a Los Angeles-based defamation, entertainment, and employment law attorney and a founding partner at the firm Mills Sadat Dowlat LLP, told us what will happen if Trump doesn't pay the damages.

"If Trump refuses to pay, Carroll's attorneys could conduct what's called a judgment debtor exam to see where his money is parked in bank accounts and different assets," expert Dowlatshahi told Nicki Swift exclusively. "If Trump drags his feet and does not pay, the sheriff could force the sale of an asset belonging to Trump or freeze money in his bank account to satisfy the judgment. But in the meantime, Trump is going to appeal."

Trump's legal team immediately sprung into action once the verdict was announced. They vowed not to take the decision lying down. "This is far from over. We are just getting started," his attorney Alina Habba posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. Dowlatshahi isn't surprised by the battle cry; he wouldn't expect Trump to respond in any other way. "He's going to push it as far as he can and tie it up in appeals as long as possible until he maybe becomes president again," Dowlatshahi said.

Donald Trump will be forced to face the music

Many believe Donald Trump will never pay a penny to E. Jean Carroll, pointing to Trump's money-related track record and legal ducking and diving. "Maybe Trump thinks if he's president, he wouldn't have to pay, and the way he ran his last presidency indicates he'll use his position to try to get out of the judgment somehow, maybe through some executive orders," attorney Camron Dowlatshahi told Nicki Swift.

Dowlatshahi predicts an appeals jury will likely rule in Trump's favor. Still, he believes they won't toss the verdict aside. "A lot of times, a huge jury verdict that exceeds what the plaintiff was asking for will get reduced on appeal," Dowlatshahi said. "The judgment is more than triple the amount E. Jean Carroll's attorneys requested. This judgment will eventually become effectuated, and he'll have to pay her something, even if he is president." As for the possibility of Trump pleading poverty to weasel out of payment? Dowlatshahi thinks 45 will never venture down that route.

"His whole brand is that he's a billionaire — it's too big of a hit to his brand for him to say, 'I don't have the money to pay,'" he said. Meanwhile, Dowlatshah believes the trial judge sent a clear message with the $83.3 million award. "Most of the damages that the jury awarded to Carroll are punitive, and that's meant to punish Trump for his conduct towards Carrroll and probably also for his conduct at trial," he added.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).