An appeals court in California has ruled that Stormy Daniels, the adult film star with a failed defamation lawsuit against Donald Trump, must pay nearly $122,000 of Trump’s legal fees.
The decision is a small silver lining for the former president amid his ongoing legal challenges.
Trump has pleaded not guilty in a New York City courtroom to a 34-count felony indictment accusing him of falsifying business records in connection with allegations of extramarital affairs with Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal during his first White House run.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, alleged that she had an affair with Trump in 2006 and was paid $130,000 as part of a nondisclosure agreement just days before the 2016 presidential election.
Daniels sued Trump for defamation after he dismissed her claims as a “total con job,” but a judge threw the case out in 2018.
Earlier this week, a commissioner for the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Trump’s attorneys reasonably spent over 183 hours on an appeal of the case but denied a request for another $5,150 in other fees due to lack of itemization.
This brings the total amount of legal fees Daniels has been ordered to pay Trump to over $600,000, including a previous order for $300,000 in attorney’s fees.
Daniels would rather go to jail than pay a penny
Daniels, who has been vocal about her opposition to paying Trump, has previously stated, “I will go to jail before I pay a penny.” There was no immediate comment from her attorney, Oklahoma lawyer Clark Brewster, after the ruling.
For Trump, the news that Daniels will be required to pay additional money towards his legal fees is welcomed, and he has been urging his supporters to continue donating to his cause to fight the court case and clear his name.
Trump’s campaign has reportedly sent out marketing emails to subscribers promoting a t-shirt with a mocked-up mugshot of Trump with the words ‘NOT GUILTY’ underneath.
In another email to supporters, Trump stated, “You are why I could NEVER give up our mission to save America – no matter how nasty and vicious the attacks ever got.”
Trump, who has been impeached twice by the US House but was never convicted in the US Senate, is the first former president to face criminal charges. Despite his legal challenges, a conviction would not prevent Trump from running for or winning the presidency in 2024.
Trump has called on his supporters to donate money as they are able to.
In a Truth Social post, he wrote, “If you are doing poorly, as many of you are, do not send anything. If you are doing well, which was made possible through the great policies of the Trump administration, send your contribution to donaldjtrump.com,’ he declared via his Truth Social network”.
He ended his Truth Social post by writing, “We have to take back our Country and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”