LOS ANGELES: A US federal judge in California has ordered porn star Stormy Daniels to pay Donald Trump nearly US$300,000 for filing a defamation suit against the president that was dismissed.
US District Judge S James Otero said Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, must pay Trump US$293,000 (RM1.2 million) to cover the president’s attorney fees and costs plus US$1,000 in sanctions for filing the lawsuit.
Daniels in her dismissed suit had accused Trump of defamation for characterising as a “total con job” her claims of a presidential affair.
Otero, however, ruled that the language Trump used in his tweet was “rhetorical hyperbole” and therefore protected under the First Amendment.
Trump’s attorney Charles Harder hailed the ruling, along with an earlier one dismissing Daniels’s defamation case, as a “total victory for the president, and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels in this case.”
Clifford has also sued Trump over a non-disclosure agreement. The judge has not dismissed that case.
Daniels’s attorney Michael Avenatti said in a tweet after the latest ruling that his client planned to appeal and will likely never have to pay a dime.
“Charles Harder and Trump deserve each other because they are both dishonest,” he wrote.
“If Stormy has to pay US$300k to Trump in the defamation case (which will never hold up on appeal) and Trump has to pay Stormy US$1,500,000 in the NDA case (net US$1,200,000 to Stormy), how is this a Trump win?”