Porn star Stormy Daniels loses appeal in Trump case, owes former president almost $300,000

Porn star Stormy Daniels loses appeal in Trump case, owes former president almost $300,000

A combination photo shows Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels speaking in New York City, and U.S. President Donald Trump speaking in Washington, Michigan, U.S. on April 16, 2018 and April 28, 2018 respectively.

Reuters

Porn star Stormy Daniels is on the hook to pay former President Donald Trump nearly $300,000 in attorneys’ fees after a federal appeals court rejected her bid to overturn a lower court decision in her failed defamation lawsuit against him.

Friday’s ruling, which Trump bragged about in a statement issued Monday night, likely puts to bed a yearslong legal feud between Daniels and the ex-president related to her claim that they had sex one time in 2006.

That feud has featured both of their former lawyers being convicted of felonies that were connected to the effects of her claim. Trump denies having had sex with the adult film actress.

In its decision Friday, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said it had no jurisdiction over Daniels’ appeal of the attorneys’ fees issue because she failed to file a notice of appeal within a 30-day deadline of a federal judge granting the fees to Trump.

The appeals court also said that the same judge had properly included another $1,000 in sanctions against Daniels in the same judgment that awarded Trump attorneys’ fees.

The amount Daniels owes Trump in the case is about the same amount she was swindled out of by Michael Avenatti, her former lawyer.

Avenatti was convicted in Manhattan federal court last month of defrauding her out of money she was owed in a book deal to write about her experience with Trump. He is due to be sentenced June 2.

Trump on Monday called the 9th Circuit’s ruling for him “a total and complete victory and vindication for, and of me.”

“The lawsuit was a purely political stunt that never should have started, or allowed to happen, and I am pleased that my lawyers were able to bring it to a successful conclusion after the court fully rejected her appeal,” Trump said. “Now all I have to do is wait for all of the money she owes me.”

“P.S. The Fake News probably won’t report this story!” he added.

CNBC has reached out to a spokesman for Daniels seeking comment on the ruling.

Daniels, who recently has been involved in developing a paranormal investigative show entitled “Spooky Babes,” fired back on Twitter at a woman who gloated about Trump’s court victory.

“I will go to jail before I pay a penny,” Daniels tweeted.

The case has its origins in the fall of 2016, when Trump was the Republican nominee for president, and his then-personal lawyer Michael Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her agreement to keep quiet about her claim of having had sex with Trump.

When Cohen later pleaded guilty to federal crimes, which included campaign finance violations related to the payment, he said he paid Daniels the money at Trump’s direction.

Cohen also admitted facilitating another hush money payment by the publisher of The National Enquirer to a second woman, who said she had a sexual affair with Trump. The former president also has denied that claim.

Daniels sued Trump when he was president in 2018, seeking to void the nondisclosure agreement with Cohen. While Trump later agreed not to enforce the agreement, a judge in 2020 ordered him to pay Daniels more than $44,000 for her legal fees in that case.

Later in 2018, Daniels sued Trump again, claiming he defamed her when, in a Twitter post, he scoffed at a police sketch artist drawing of a man who Daniels said had threatened her in 2011 over her allegation of having had sex with Trump.

Trump called the sketch a “con job” about a “nonexistent man.”

A federal judge dismissed that lawsuit later in 2018, saying Trump’s statements were protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

He also ordered Daniels to pay Trump’s attorneys’ fees in the case and sanctions.

The U.S. Supreme Court in February 2021 rejected Daniels’ effort to appeal the decision.

But Daniels had pressed an appeal on the issue of the money she owed Trump with the 9th Circuit.

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