LOS ANGELES –
Stormy Daniels must pay nearly $122,000 in legal fees collected by Donald Trump in the porn star’s failed defamation lawsuit, an appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The decision in California comes around the time Trump became the only former president to be charged with a crime. Trump pleaded not guilty in a New York courtroom to a 34-count indictment accusing him of falsifying business records to cover up allegations of extramarital affairs with Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougall that broke during his first run for the White House.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006 and was paid $130,000 as part of a non-disclosure agreement days before the 2016 presidential election.
She sued him for defamation after he dismissed her claims that he had been threatened to keep quiet about the lawsuit as a “total sham”. The judge dismissed the case in 2018.
On Tuesday, a commissioner on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Trump’s lawyers “reasonably spent” more than 183 hours on the appeal of the case, but rejected a request for another $5,150 in other fees because it was not included.
In total, Daniels was ordered to pay more than $600,000 in Trump’s legal fees, Harmeet Dhillon, one of his attorneys in the case, tweeted.
That includes about $300,000 in attorney fees previously ordered to be paid to Daniels.
After a federal appeals court upheld that award last year, Daniels said:
Messages seeking comment from his attorney, Oklahoma attorney Clark Brewster, were not immediately returned after hours Tuesday.