Tuesday, according to reports, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered adult film actress Stormy Daniels to pay former President Donald Trump an extra $121,000 in attorney costs.
According to Trump attorney Harmeet Dhillon, this sum was in addition to the over $500,000 that the court had previously ordered her to pay.
“Congratulations to President Trump on this final attorney fee victory in his favor this morning. Collectively, our firm obtained over $600,000 in attorney fee awards in his favor in the meritless litigation initiated by Stormy Daniels,” Dhillon tweeted.
Trump’s son Eric Trump also tweeted, “[T]he 9th Circuit just awarded Trump $121,962.56 in attorney fees from Stormy Daniels. Order just released. This in addition to the roughly $500k she already owes him.”
Congratulations to President Trump on this final attorney fee victory in his favor this morning. Collectively, our firm obtained over $600,000 in attorney fee awards in his favor in the meritless litigation initiated by Stormy Daniels. https://t.co/ld7SVvZOp6 pic.twitter.com/1b5P3flxFb
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) April 4, 2023
In March 2022, NBC News reported that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had decided against Daniels, whose actual name is Stephanie Clifford, determining she owed Trump nearly $300,000 in legal expenses.
Michael Avenatti, Daniels’ attorney, filed a defamation complaint against Trump in 2018.
In the same year, Avenatti and Daniels presented a sketch of a guy they claimed had threatened Daniels and her daughter in 2011 if the porn actress discussed Trump.
“A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!” Trump tweeted in response.
Daniels’ suit claimed that Trump’s tweet was “false and defamatory,” according to NBC News.
“Mr. Trump knew that his false, disparaging statement would be read by people around the world, as well as widely reported, and that Ms. Clifford would be subjected to threats of violence, economic harm, and reputational damage as a result,” the suit said.
However, a federal judge in California sided with Trump finding the tweet, “constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States.”
“The First Amendment protects this type of rhetorical statement,” Judge James Otero wrote and ruled that Trump was entitled to attorney fees in the case.
The 9th Circuit Court affirmed this result.
Daniels stated in a statement released after the 9th Circuit’s ruling that Avenatti filed the lawsuit without her consent and against her desires.
“Once it was filed, Trump’s lawyers overwhelmed Avenatti and I was left the victim of an attorney’s fee award,” she said. “I will go to jail before I pay a penny,” Daniels added.
The granting of additional legal costs in the defamation action occurred on the same day that Trump appeared in court in Manhattan for an arraignment hearing over an alleged hush money payment made to Daniels in 2016 by Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen.