Adult film star Stormy Daniels has been ordered to reimburse President Donald Trump’s legal team to the tune of nearly $300,000 after a judge dismissed Daniels’ defamation case against the president late last month.
Fox News reports that Daniels must reimburse Trump for 75% of his legal bill — a whopping $292,052.33.
“The U.S. District Court today ordered Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) to pay President Trump $292,052.33 to reimburse his attorneys’ fees (75% of his total legal bill), plus an additional $1,000 in sanctions to punish Daniels for having filed a meritless lawsuit against the President designed to chill his free speech rights,” the president’s lawyer said in a statement late Tuesday.
“The court’s order,” the statement continued, “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 and his attorneys had asked for around $800,000 in legal fees and penalties as a way of recouping the president’s losses after fighting what the court believed to be a baseless defamation suit brought by Daniels and her celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti. An accounting of Trump’s legal fees, though, revealed that the president spent only around $390,000 on his top attorney.
The judge appears to have “split the difference,” awarding Trump a majority of his legal fees.
Avenatti, of course, was less than thrilled with the decision and promised a swift response.
“Charles Harder and Trump deserve each other because they are both dishonest,” the attorney tweeted. “If Stormy has to pay $300k to Trump in the defamation case (which will never hold up on appeal) and Trump has to pay Stormy $1,500,000 in the NDA case (net $1,200,000 to Stormy), how is this a Trump win?”
The “NDA case,” is still pending and has not been adjudicated. Daniels filed that suit back in March, claiming that a non-disclosure agreement she signed in order to receive a $150,000 payout from Trump’s then-attorney Michael Cohen is invalid because Trump did not personally sign the agreement (although some evidence seems to indicate that Cohen was serving as an agent of the then-presidential candidate).
The dismissed defamation case stems from an allegation Daniels made in early 2018 — that Trump, or an affiliate, had sent a “tough guy” to threaten Daniels during an appearance in Las Vegas, Nevada. Daniels released a sketch of the man she says told her she needed to “keep quiet” about her alleged affair with Trump or face dire consequences.
Trump responded by comparing Daniels’ sketch to a photo of Daniels with her ex-husband, noting the similarities between the man in the drawing and Daniels’ former flame. He called Daniels’ allegations a “total con job.”
Last month, a judge dismissed the defamation suit saying Trump had a “First Amendment right” to comment on Daniels’ allegations and that Trump’s statement seemed in line with the same type of “rhetorical hyperbole” Trump typically deploys on social media.
In other words, Trump wasn’t singling Daniels out.