LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California court ordered President Donald Trump this week to pay $44,100 in attorney fees to porn actress Stormy Daniels to pay for her legal battle over her effort to cancel a hush money deal brokered to keep her quiet about their sexual relationship a decade ago.
The order in Superior Court in Los Angeles determined Daniels won her lawsuit against Trump over the agreement that was signed 11 days before the 2016 presidential election. As a part of that deal, the losing party would pay the lawyers fees.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the decision.
The president’s personal lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, paid $130,000 to Daniels, who filed the suit under her legal name Stephanie Clifford. After Trump’s election, Daniels sued to void the agreement.
Trump and his supporters denied the president knew about the payment for several years before Trump acknowledged it on Twitter in May 2018 and said he reimbursed Cohen for the money paid to Daniels.
Daniels’ suit over the non-disclosure agreement was dismissed before going to trial or a settlement because the parties were no longer quiet. Trump’s lawyers said Daniels didn’t win the case and therefore wasn’t entitled to lawyer fees, but Judge Robert Broadbelt III disagreed in his ruling Monday,posted online by Daniels’ lawyers.
Trump’s lawyers also argued Daniels didn’t prove the president was a part of the non-disclosure agreement which was made under the name “ David Dennison,” but Broadbelt wrote there was a large amount of evidence showing Cohen chose Dennison as a pseudonym for Trump.
After her lawyer announced the decision, Daniels wrote on Twitter: “Yup. Another win.”
But they haven’t all been wins for Daniels. She also sued Trump for defamation after the president’s comments on Twitter that a man she said threatened her to stay quiet about their alleged affair in 2011 was “nonexistent.” Trump also posted side-by-side photos of the composite sketch of the man making the threats and Daniels’ husband.
The defamation lawsuit was thrown out and Daniels is appealing the decision and an order to pay Trump almost $300,000 in attorney fees.
A judge in that case ruled Trump’s statements on Twitter were protected speech under the First Amendment.
Since Trump’s election, Daniels has remained in the adult entertainment industry, using her new fame to promote strip club appearances and shows, including her latest venture called “Spooky Babes Paranormal Show” where she said she is leading a team of investigators to hunt ghosts and get answers for people here on Earth. She also still takes shots at the president on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance charges and lying to Congress, among other crimes, and was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018.