Porn actress Stormy Daniels, a.k.a. Stephanie Clifford, must pay nearly $300,000 to President Donald Trump to reimburse him for legal fees he incurred because of her unsuccessful defamation lawsuit against him. U.S. District Judge James Otero hit Daniels with a bill for $293,053 in legal fees that includes $1,000 in sanctions because she sought to “chill” the president “free speech rights.” This was according to Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder. The amount that Daniels has been ordered to pay amount to 75 percent of Trump’s legal fees.
“The court’s order, along with the court’s prior order dismissing Stormy Daniels’ defamation case against the President, together constitute a total victory for the President, and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels in this case,” Harder said.
Harder billed Trump $841.64 per hour in representation fees, while attorneys assisting him charged between $307.60 per hour to $756.49 per hour. Judge Otero wrote that the rates were “reasonable” and that Trump’s legal counsels “are incredibly qualified.”
Daniels’s still has a lawsuit pending against Trump that seeks damages in connection with a non-disclosure agreement she has with the president. Daniels claims to have had sex with Trump in 2006. However, the White House has denied the affair happened. Later that year, Trump attorney Michael Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her agreement to keep mum about the supposed affair. Cohen has claimed that he made the payment at Trump’s direction, who was then campaigning for the presidency. The payment has reportedly become the focus of an investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Judge Otero dismissed Daniels’ defamation case in October of this year. However, he did not dismissed her lawsuit related to the non-disclosure agreement. In an April 2018, Trump tweeted dismissively about Daniels’ description of a man who warned her to keep quiet about Trump. Trump wrote: “A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!” In his ruling, the judge said that Trump’s tweet was “rhetorical hyperbole,” and protected by the First Amendment.