A federal judge ruled Tuesday that adult film star Stormy Daniels must reimburse President Trump for roughly $293,000 in legal fees he incurred while defending himself against her failed defamation lawsuit.
Trump’s attorneys had asked for $800,000 — $389,000 in legal fees and $389,000 in sanctions — but US District Judge James Otero determined that the request was excessive.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, filed her lawsuit against Trump earlier this year, claiming he defamed her in a tweet after she spoke out publicly about the affair she alleges she had with Trump in 2006, along with the release of a composite sketch of a man she said threatened her five years later to keep quiet. In his tweet, Trump called the sketch a “total con job.”
But Otero ruled in October that the tweet was protected and not actionable because it involved the opinion of a public official and was not a statement of fact. In throwing out the case, Otero also ruled that Trump could recoup his legal fees.
Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, called the ruling “a total victory for the president, and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels in this case.”
However, Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, said in a statement that Harder and Trump “are both full of crap.”
“They received less than one half what they asked for because the request was gross and excessive,” he added.
Avenatti also said his client won’t have to pay a dime because she’s owed far more money in legal fees related to her main case over her nondisclosure agreement, especially after Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to fraud and tax charges and campaign finance crimes. Cohen was responsible for making the hush payment to Daniels.