Former President Donald Trump says his brand alone is worth over $10 billion, but a pair of civil verdicts could cause financial havoc for him, legal experts said.
Trump was slapped last month with an $83 million award in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case and faces the prospect of another verdict in the coming days that could be multiples of that — while also dismantling parts of the company his wealth comes from.
How much does Trump owe Carroll?
Trump was hit with an $83.3 million verdict on Jan. 26 for repeatedly defaming Carroll and has said he plans to appeal as soon as possible. He’s already appealing a $5 million verdict Carroll won against him last year for sexual abuse and defamation.
Will Trump have to pay while he appeals?
While the appeal could delay Carroll from collecting her money for years as it winds its way through the court process, it doesn’t stop Trump from having to come up with that cash — and then some. Under federal court rules, civil defendants have to post security for awards while they appeal, and in New York, that includes a 9% annual interest rate.
For the $5 million award, Trump had to deposit $5.5 million into a court fund — 111% of the judgment amount.
What happens if Trump appeals?
Trump has already said he would appeal if Engoron rules against him, but if he does, he would most likely still be on the hook for the full amount.
David Slarskey, a business litigation lawyer, said that New York state court, like federal court, requires security or a bond and that given the likely size of the award, Trump will probably move to get a bond.
If James gets the full $370 million she’s seeking, it could cost Trump up to an $18 million nonrefundable fee to the surety company. And with the 9% interest rate, the amount of money that would have to be put up would be in the $400 million range.
Adam Leitman Bailey, a New York real estate attorney who has sued Trump before, said he would most likely have to put up 10% of the judgment in cash while using property as collateral for the remaining amount. “He’s running for president of the United States. He’s not going anywhere.”