Court orders President Trump to pay Stormy Daniels $44,100 to cover her legal fees

Stormy Daniels, left, speaks to members of the media while attorney Michael Avenatti listens outside a federal courthouse in New York in April 2018. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Victor J. Blue via The Washington Post Syndicated Service

A California court ordered President Donald Trump to pay Stephanie Clifford, the adult-film actress known as Stormy Daniels, $44,100 to cover her legal fees stemming from a dispute over a nondisclosure agreement.

The Superior Court of California in Los Angeles ruled that Clifford was the prevailing party in the dispute and therefore won the right to have her legal fees paid by Trump, according to a copy of the ruling posted by the court and by Clifford’s lawyer.

“Yup. Another win!” the Stormy Daniels Twitter account tweeted on Friday. White House officials, and lawyers for Trump and Clifford, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The dispute involved a nondisclosure agreement Clifford signed in 2016 in exchange for a $130,000 payment from Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen. The agreement prevented Clifford from speaking about an affair she alleges she and Trump had from 2006 to 2007. Trump has denied having the affair.

Trump at one point said he knew nothing about the agreement or payment, which The Washington Post’s Fact Checker declared was “a lie.” Cohen later said in court that he was reimbursed by the Trump Organization for the payment to Clifford, and that Trump knew about it.

In 2018, Clifford filed a case asking the Los Angeles Superior Court to void the agreement, kicking off a legal battle. Trump’s lawyers later agreed out of court not to enforce the agreement.

In its latest ruling dated August 17, the Los Angeles court said that outcome meant Clifford was ultimately the prevailing party in the dispute, and was entitled to have her legal fees covered.

Trump has for years relied on broadly worded nondisclosure agreements as a powerful weapon against anyone who would say something critical of him. In addition to Clifford, others who have signed these agreements include two ex-wives, contestants on “The Apprentice,” campaign workers and business associates.



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