A federal judge on Tuesday ordered adult-film star Stormy Daniels to pay President Trump more than $293,000 in legal fees amid their ongoing legal battles.
U.S. District Judge James Otero ordered Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, to pay the fees in her defamation case against Trump, which Otero dismissed in October.
Daniels alleged that Trump defamed her in an April tweet that mocked her claims that a man threatened her in 2011 to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump.
Shortly after Daniels and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, released a forensic sketch of the man who allegedly threatened her, Trump posted a side-by-side photo suggesting that the man was Daniels’s ex-husband.
After the defamation case failed, Trump’s attorneys had requested that Daniels pay them $340,000 in legal fees.
Otero, writing that Trump’s attorneys spent “excessive” time on the case, ordered Daniels to pay about 75 percent of Trump’s legal fees, plus an additional $1,000 in sanctions.
Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, praised Tuesday’s decision as “a total victory for the President, and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels in this case.”
Daniels is still suing Trump and his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to void a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) about her alleged 2006 affair with Trump.
Avenatti blasted the decision Tuesday, saying in a statement to The Hill that “Harder and Trump deserve each other because they are both dishonest.”
“They received less than one half what they asked for because the request was gross and excessive. Stormy will never [have] to pay a dime because they owe her over $1 million in attorney’s fees and costs from the main NDA case, especially in light of Cohen’s guilty plea to a felony,” Avenatti said.
Cohen has pleaded guilty to a number of financial crimes, including campaign finance law violations related to a payment he made to Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Federal prosecutors have recommended “substantial” prison time for the former Trump lawyer, who is set to be sentenced in federal court in New York on Wednesday.
Trump had applauded the dismissal of Daniels’s defamation case in October with a tweet calling the actress “Horseface” while dubbing Avenatti a “3rd rate lawyer.”