On Tuesday, a Los Angeles judge determined that adult actress Stormy Daniels must pay Donald Trump’s legal fees after her defamation suit against him was thrown out. According to KUSI News, Daniels is being ordered to pay nearly $293,000 in attorney fees as well as another $1,000 in sanctions.
Charles Harder, Trump’s attorney, had previously asked for roughly $390,000 to cover his legal fees, and nearly the same amount in sanctions. However, the judge on the case opted to reduce the amount for fees by 25 percent, and only asked for $1,000 in sanctions.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims that she and Donald Trump had a brief affair back in 2006. She alleges that days before the 2016 presidential election, she was paid $130,000 as part of a nondisclosure agreement. Daniels also claims that she was threatened repeatedly to keep quiet about the affair.
Daniels claims she was threatened by a man in a Las Vegas parking lot five years after the affair allegedly took place. She did not recognize the man who threatened her, but she did release a composite sketch of the perpetrator.
According to her attorney Michael Avenatti’s Twitter account, Daniels is prepared to appeal this decision — and he doesn’t necessarily see it as a loss.
Trump and his attorney's attempt to fool the public about the importance of the attorneys' fees in the defamation case, which are a fraction of what they owe my client in the main NDA case, is an absolute joke. People are smarter than that.https://t.co/oo3kkjVzPU via @YouTube— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) December 11, 2018
Daniels originally sued Trump for defamation after he tweeted out his denial of the affair, referring to her as a “total con job.” The judge determined that this was hyperbolic and protected under the First Amendment.
Daniels also has a case pending in Los Angeles regarding the original nondisclosure agreement. The adult actress signed the NDA back with Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer. She is currently challenging the NDA, which would keep her from publicly discussing the affair with Trump.
Cohen is no longer Trump’s lawyer, after he admitted to giving money to Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence regarding the affair. He later pleaded guilty to several felonies.
Avenatti plans to seek attorney’s fees from Trump in the ongoing case, which also addresses the supposed hush money Daniels was paid to keep from speaking about the affair. He is confident that Daniels will ultimately prove triumphant, and has speculated that their winnings could be over $2 million.
Meanwhile, Avenatti has other legal issues to deal with — specifically his own. The attorney was arrested in November and charged with domestic violence against his girlfriend. Avenatti has denied these allegations.
Trump has repeatedly denied the affair with Stormy Daniels, calling her out on social media numerous times. Daniels has already appealed the judge’s ruling on the case.