Judge orders porn star Stormy Daniels to pay Trump $293K in legal fees

Judge orders Stormy Daniels to pay Trump $293K

A federal judge ordered adult film actress Stormy Daniels on Tuesday to pay President Trump hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for her failed defamation lawsuit against him. 

Judge James Otero, who threw out Daniels' suit against the president in October, instructed her to pay Mr. Trump $293,052.33 in attorney fees. "Based on the unique nature of this litigation and the Court's familiarity with the fees charged in this jurisdiction, the Court concludes that Defendant's rate requests are reasonable," Otero wrote. 

Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, alleges she had an affair with Mr. Trump in 2006. With the help of her high-profile and outspoken attorney Michael Avenatti, Daniels sued the president in April after Mr. Trump said on Twitter that a composite sketch of a man she said threatened her in 2011 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with the commander-in-chief was a "con job."  

When he dismissed the suit, Otero said Mr. Trump's tweet was a "hyperbolic statement" against a political foe. 

"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," the judge wrote in October.

Avenatti quickly denounced the president and his lawyers and downplayed the judge's order on Twitter. 

"Stormy will never have to pay the felon Cohen or Trump a single dime in attorney's fees, costs or sanctions. The award is dwarfed by the $1.5 million award to be issued in NDA case - the main case where Cohen and Trump have been lying to the court and the public. #Criminals," he wrote.

Avenatti is representing Daniels in another lawsuit against Mr. Trump and his former attorney Michael Cohen. Through litigation, the adult film actress is seeking to void a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) about her alleged 2006 affair with the president. 

In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts, including two campaign finance violations involving payments to silence Daniels and a former Playboy model, whom he believed had information that could harm Mr. Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.