Friday, December 1, 2023

Stormy Daniels loses case; asked to pay Trump legal fees

Former US President Donald Trump secured a legal victory against adult film star Stormy Daniels. 

Daniels was ordered to pay more than $121,000 to the attorneys of Trump, by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in California. 

Daniels had lost a defamation case against him.

The adult film star is already paying over $500,000 in court-ordered payments to Trump attorneys.

She had filed and lost a defamation suit against the former president.

The order was delivered on the same day that a Manhattan court arraigned Trump on 34 charges related to alleged hush money payments to Daniels to cover up a purported affair between the two, CNN reported. 

Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records related to the alleged payments. It’s the first time a former US president has faced criminal charges.

Trump attorney Harmeet Dhillon of the Dhillon Law Group took to Twitter and shared a copy of the order. She wrote, “Congratulations to President Trump on this final attorney fee victory in his favor this morning.” 

The civil litigation is officially unrelated to Trump’s arrest and charges filed against him in New York — but both involved Daniels, who was paid USD 130,000 in hush money during the 2016 presidential campaign to keep quiet about an affair. Trump denies the affair, reported CNN.

Daniels sued Trump in 2018 after Trump in a tweet called an allegation by Daniels that an unknown man threatened her in a parking lot to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump a “total con job.”

Dismissing the lawsuit in October 2018, federal Judge S James Otero said Trump’s statement was protected by the First Amendment, reported CNN.

“The Court agrees with Mr Trump’s argument because the tweet in question constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States. The First Amendment protects this type of rhetorical statement,” Otero wrote at the time.

Otero later ordered Daniels to pay roughly USD 293,000 in legal fees. Daniels was also ordered to pay another USD 245,000 in fees after losing another appeal, reported CNN.

Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, had asked the appeals court to knock down another award. The court declined her request.

“Clifford’s argument that the fee request is unreasonable and excessive is not well-founded,” the 9th Circuit filing states.

“Trump’s attorneys reasonably spent the requested 183.35 hours preparing a motion to dismiss, a reply to the opposition to the motion, two extension motions, the answering brief, and the fee application,” it added.

In March 2022, Daniels said she would “go to jail” before paying a penny to Trump after a failed defamation suit filed by Daniels’ former lawyer, Michael Avenatti.

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