Donald Trump’s legal team is working to prevent an expert witness, Northwestern University professor Ashlee Humphreys, from testifying in a defamation lawsuit filed by journalist E. Jean Carroll. Trump’s defense lawyer, Michael Madaio, has filed a motion requesting a federal judge in New York to exclude Humphreys’ testimony, reported The Daily Beast.
Humphreys recently testified in Giuliani’s defamation trial in Washington, D.C., where she assessed the potential damages caused by Rudy Giuliani’s election lies. In her analysis, she estimated that it would cost Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss between $17.8 million and $47.8 million to repair their reputations. A jury subsequently awarded them $148 million in damages.
Madaio argues that Humphreys’ damages estimations are inflated, unreliable, and incorrect, and he urges the court to exclude her testimony altogether. He contends that her initial report does not accurately reflect the harm to the plaintiff’s reputation.
Humphreys had previously testified in Carroll’s civil rape trial against Trump, where the former president was found liable for sexual assault. In that case, Humphreys analyzed the cost for Carroll to counter Trump’s lies about her, estimating it at about $2.7 million. Jurors awarded $5 million to Carroll, with $1.7 million attributed to Humphreys’ analysis.
In the current case focused on Trump’s denials of rape allegations, a confidential version of Humphreys’ expert report includes a detailed assessment for “calculated damages” reaching nearly $21 million. Trump’s team argues that Humphreys’ initial report no longer aligns with the case’s subject matter.
Carroll’s lawyers countered, accusing Trump’s team of ignoring Humphreys’ adjusted total in a supplemental report. They argue that Humphreys is crucial to Carroll’s case, and Trump’s urgency to exclude her stems from her role in Giuliani’s trial, which resulted in a $108 million defamation verdict. Carroll’s lead attorney, Roberta Kaplan, suggests that Trump’s move reflects a sense of desperation.