Law & the Courts

Stormy Daniels Ordered to Pay Trump $293K in Legal Fees

Stormy Daniels, the porn star currently in legal battles with U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a ceremony in her honor in West Hollywood, California, U.S., May 23, 2018. (REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo)

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Stormy Daniels to pay President Trump over $293,000 to cover the bulk of his legal fees against her.

U.S. District Judge James Otero ordered the adult film star to reimburse the president for about 75 percent of the legal expenses he incurred fighting the defamation lawsuit she filed against him.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, said she had a one night stand with Trump in 2006, while his current wife Melania Trump was expecting their son Barron, and claimed that later in 2011, a man threatened her and her young daughter in a parking lot over the affair, demanding her silence regarding it.

She and her now famous attorney, Michael Avenatti, shared a sketch of the man she said threatened her. Trump on Twitter mocked what he called the image of a “non-existent man,” calling it “total con job.” He has denied the affair but acknowledged that his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, made a $130,000 payment to Daniels to buy her silence about the alleged affair, calling it a “simple private transaction.” Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday for the payments, which violated campaign finance laws, and other federal financial crimes.

Daniels sued over the president’s tweet, which she said described her as a liar and of “committing a serious crime.”

However, the judge ultimately ruled that Trump’s tweet was legal on First Amendment grounds, deeming it a “hyperbolic statement.”

Trump attorney Charles Harder said the fine includes $1000 for filing a “meritless” case.

“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,” Harder said.

Trump celebrated the dismissal of the case in October, tweeting, “now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer.”

However, the Los Angeles judge rejected the “significant additional sanctions” Trump’s legal team asked for, including that Daniels pay close to $800,000.

“They received less than one half what they asked for because the request was gross and excessive. Stormy will never [have] to pay a dime because they owe her over $1 million in attorney’s fees and costs from the main NDA case, especially in light of Cohen’s guilty plea to a felony,” said Avenatti.

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