Judge Orders Stormy Daniels to Pay Trump Nearly $300,000 in Attorneys' Fees

Stormy Daniels and her attorney Michael Avenatti (Getty Images)
December 11, 2018

A California judge ordered Stormy Daniels to pay President Donald Trump nearly $300,000 in attorney's fees on Tuesday over a defamation suit dismissed in October.

Daniels, a porn actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford and is represented by firebrand attorney Michael Avenatti, said Trump defamed her with a tweet in March, although she later said Avenatti filed the lawsuit without her permission. Daniels has claimed she and Trump slept together in 2006 and she was paid hush money before the 2016 election.

Judge James Otero threw out the case in October, and he ruled Tuesday that she had to pay Trump $293,052.33 in attorneys' fees.

Trump attorney Charles Harder called the decision a "total victory" for his client, although the amount fell short of the $800,000 he asked a judge to force Daniels to pay last week.

Avenatti said it wasn't a victory, telling the Daily Beast that it was less than half of what Harder wanted, also saying he would appeal the ruling.

"No one’s going to be writing a check for one penny to Donald Trump or Michael Cohen," Avenatti said. When asked about Harder’s price tag, Avenatti said, "It’s ludicrous. The court shot him down."

Avenatti also tweeted it wasn't a win for Trump because there was still a chance Trump would have to pay out $1.5 million in the lawsuit over their non-disclosure agreement.

The Daily Beast reports on the details of the lawsuit:

The lawsuit stems from Daniels’ claim that a goon threatened her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011 after she spoke to In Touch magazine about her alleged romp with Trump in Lake Tahoe five years before. "Leave Trump alone. Forget the story," the mystery man allegedly warned, before gesturing at her infant daughter, "That's a beautiful little girl. It'd be a shame if something happened to her mom."

Daniels released a forensic sketch of the alleged "thug" in April on ABC’s The View, soon after news of her "hush agreement" with Trump and his former fixer, Michael Cohen, swept the nation. In response, Trump called the drawing "a total con job" in a tweet that Daniels—born Stephanie Clifford—said was "false and defamatory" in court papers.