Trump Wins $293,000 in Fees, Sanctions From Stormy Daniels
Stephanie Clifford, the adult-movie star professionally known as Stormy Daniels, was ordered to pay $293,000 in attorney fees and sanctions to Donald Trump after she unsuccessfully sued the president for defamation.
A federal judge in Los Angeles on Tuesday cut the fees Trump had requested by 25 percent and added $1,000 in sanctions against Clifford. Trump’s lawyer had asked for as much as an additional $389,000 as a deterrence. “They received less than one half what they asked for because the request was gross and excessive,” Clifford’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said in an email after the ruling. U.S. District Judge James Otero in Los Angeles threw out Clifford’s lawsuit in November, saying Trump’s “defaming” tweet was protected free speech. Earlier this year, Clifford said she was threatened by an unknown man in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011 for agreeing to cooperate with a magazine article about a tryst she says she had with Trump in 2006. After her lawyer released a composite sketch of the man, Trump accused Clifford in an April tweet of “a total con job" concerning a “nonexistent man.” Clifford still has a case pending in Los Angeles to challenge the non-disclosure agreement she signed with Trump’s then lawyer Michael Cohen to prevent her from discussing the alleged affair. Trump and Cohen both have said they won’t enforce that agreement and that the case should be thrown out as moot. “Stormy will never have to pay a dime” of the money awarded to Trump Tuesday, Avenatti said, “because they owe her over $1 million in attorneys’ fees and costs from the NDA case, especially in light of Cohen’s guilty plea.” DM