Porn star Stormy Daniels loses appeal in Trump case, vows ‘I will go to jail before I pay a penny’ of $300,000

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  • Porn star Stormy Daniels must pay ex-President Donald Trump nearly $300,000 in attorneys’ fees, a federal appeals court said in a ruling upholding a judge’s order in her failed defamation lawsuit.
  • The ruling likely ends a yearslong legal feud between Daniels and Trump related to her claim that they had sex one time in 2006.
  • The amount Daniels owes Trump in the case is about the same amount that she was swindled out of by Michael Avenatti, her former lawyer.
  • “I will go to jail before I pay a penny,” Daniels tweeted.

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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.

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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.

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

Daniels on Tuesday, in a lengthy statement posted on Twitter, said Trump had won the case “on a technicality” because his then-lawyer, Michael Avenatti, failed to promptly file a notice of appeal in his defamation suit.

In its decision Friday, the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said it had no jurisdiction over Daniels’ appeal of the attorneys’ fees issue because she had 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 Avenatti several years ago.

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 on June 2.

Friday’s ruling against Daniels came a week after a Manhattan federal court judge rejected Trump’s effort to countersue writer E. Jean Carroll, who in a pending lawsuit accused him of defaming her by claiming she was lying and motivated by money when she accused Trump of having raped her years ago in a New York City department store.

Trump on Monday called the 9th Circuit’s ruling for him “a total and complete victory and vindication for, and of me,” and repeated his claim not to have had sex with Daniels.

“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.”

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

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But Daniels, who recently has been involved in developing a paranormal investigative show entitled “Spooky Babes,” on Tuesday said in her statement that “although distressing,” her loss of the case “does not reflect on anything I have done or my credibility, but is the result of the negligence of a criminal lawyer, Michael Avenatti.”

Daniels referred to Trump’s bragging in the notorious 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape about being able to grab women by the genitals without their consent, and getting away with it because of his celebrity status.

“It is a sad reality that in this country, a known and proven predator can openly brag about assaulting women and become president and be awarded money for his bad behavior,” Daniels said.

“My heart goes out to the others who have been victimized by Trump. I deeply regret not standing up for myself that night and for not speaking out sooner. I hope that one day the women who came after me can forgive me.”

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 his 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 US 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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Credit: www.cnbc.com /

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