From Rolling Stone:
THE FALLOUT FROM Donald Trump’s alleged affair with Stormy Daniels landed him in court on Tuesday — but stuck her with a hefty bill. A federal appeals court has ordered Daniels to pay Trump’s lawyers over $121,000 in legal fees stemming from her failed defamation suit against the former president.
“The former adult film star filed the suit alleging that Trump had defamed her by publicly ridiculing her allegation that an unknown man threatened her and her daughter over an abandoned In Touch Magazine story about what she claimed was a 2006 affair with Trump during a celebrity golf tournament. Daniels claimed that shortly after she began cooperating with the magazine, an unnamed man had approached her saying “Leave Trump alone. Forget the story” and “That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom,” in reference to her infant daughter. “
Daniels had sued Trump in 2018 after he called an allegation by Daniels that an unknown man threatened her in a parking lot to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump a “total con job” in a tweet. Dismissing the lawsuit in October 2018, District Judge S. James Otero said Trump’s statement was protected by the First Amendment.
“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. The First Amendment protects this type of rhetorical statement,” Otero wrote at the time. Otero later ordered Daniels to pay roughly $293,000 in legal fees. She was also ordered to pay $245,000 in fees after losing another appeal.
“Clifford’s argument that the fee request is unreasonable and excessive is not well-founded,” the 9th Circuit filing stated, and “Trump’s attorneys reasonably spent the requested 183.35 hours preparing a motion to dismiss, a reply to the opposition to the motion, two extension motions, the answering brief, and the fee application,” it added.