A judge ruled on Tuesday that Stormy Daniels has to pay almost $300,000 to President Trump for filing a dismissed defamation suit against him. This is a devastating blow to Daniels, she would have been better off without Michael Avenatti, who got her into this mess.
U.S. District Judge S. James Otero ordered the porn star, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, to pay $293,000 to cover the president’s attorneys’ fees plus $1,000 in sanctions for filing the case at all.
“The court’s order, along with the court’s prior order dismissing Stormy Daniels’ defamation case against the President, together constitute a total victory for the President, and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels in this case,” Trump attorney Charles Harder said Tuesday, according to CNBC.
Ms. Clifford’s dismissed lawsuit, which Mr. Harder called “meritless,” accused him of defaming her claims of a pre-presidential affair “a total con job.” Judge Otero ruled that such language is protected First Amendment political rhetoric, The Washington Times reports.
However, Ms. Clifford also sued Mr. Trump over a non-disclosure agreement, which the judge didn’t dismiss. And Mr. Harder had asked for an $800,000 payment over the defamation — both facts that Ms. Clifford’s lawyer used to downplay Tuesday’s ruling.
“Trump asked for $800k in attorneys’ fees, costs and sanctions from the minor defamation case. The [court] awarded well less than 1/2, recognizing that the request was gross & excessive. The amount in fees awarded Stormy in the main NDA case will be at least $1 million more than this,” Michael Avenatti wrote on Twitter.
Details are still being reported.