- President Donald Trump’s attorneys scored a victory in court when a federal judge dismissed adult film actress Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Trump.
- Daniels was also ordered to pay Trump’s legal fees.
- Daniels, who said she had an affair with Trump in 2006, sued him in April after he called her claim that she had been threatened by a unidentified man in 2011 “a total con job.”
- Daniels said the man warned her not to publicize her purported sexual affair with Trump.
- Michael Avenatti, who represents Daniels, said he would appeal the decision.
President Donald Trump’s attorneys scored a victory in court when a federal judge dismissed adult film actress Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Trump on First Amendment grounds and ordered her to pay Trump’s legal fees.
“No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, [Michael] Avenatti, can truthfully characterize today’s ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels,” Charles Harder, an attorney for Trump, said in a statement to Business Insider.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, sued Trump in April after he described her allegations of being threatened by a unidentified man in 2011 as “a total con job.” Daniels, who claimed she had a sexual affair with Trump in 2006, said the man accosted her in a parking lot and told her to “leave Trump alone.”
“Mr. Trump used his national and international audience of millions of people to make a false factual statement to denigrate and attack Ms. Clifford,” the federal court complaint said at the time.
Harder argued that Trump’s statement ought to be considered protected speech and that Daniels did not identify specific damages.
“The Court agrees with Mr. Trump’s argument because the tweet in question constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States,” US District Judge James Otero wrote in his opinion. “The First Amendment protects this type of rhetorical statement.”
Avenatti said in a statement that he would appeal the decision and that Daniels’ lawsuits against Trump and Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, would “proceed unaffected.”
“Trump’s contrary claims are as deceptive as his claims about the inauguration attendance,” Avenatti said in a tweet on Monday. “We will appeal the dismissal of the defamation cause of action and are confident in a reversal.”
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