California Judge Orders Trump to Pay Stormy Daniels’s Legal Fees

August 22, 2020 Updated: August 23, 2020

A Californian judge has ordered President Donald Trump to pay $44,100 to adult performer Stormy Daniels to cover her legal fees related to a lawsuit in which she tried to break an agreement she claimed was signed to cover an alleged 2006 affair.

The judge from the Superior Court in Los Angeles determined that Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, had prevailed in her lawsuit against Trump over a nondisclosure agreement that was signed in exchange for a $130,000 payment, according to a court order dated Aug. 17, posted online by Daniels’s lawyers (pdf).

The agreement, which was signed days before the 2016 presidential election, was signed to prevent her from discussing the alleged affair. Trump has denied having an affair. Following the election, Daniels sued to void the agreement.

Trump had denied knowing about the payment, which was made by Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, for several years. In 2018, Trump acknowledged that he had reimbursed Cohen the money but it “had nothing to do with the campaign.”

The lawsuit over the nondisclosure agreement was dismissed before going to trial or a settlement because the parties were no longer quiet. Trump’s lawyers argued that Daniels didn’t win the case and therefore wasn’t entitled to lawyer fees, but the California judge disagreed.

Daniels celebrated the ruling on Twitter on Aug. 21, saying “Yup. Another win.”

The adult performer had also previously sued Trump for defamation for his comments about her claims of an unidentified man who came up to her in a Las Vegas parking lot to threaten her to keep quiet. She released a composite sketch of the mystery man.

Trump responded to the claims on Twitter by posting a side-by-side photo of the composite sketch of the man making the threats and Daniels’s husband, which prompted the defamation suit.

A federal judge in Los Angeles threw out the suit and ordered Daniels to pay Trump almost $300,000 in attorney fees. The judge ruled that Trump’s statements on Twitter were protected speech under the First Amendment. Daniels is appealing the decision.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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