California Superior Court Judge Robert Broadbelt has ordered President Donald Trump to pay $44,100 to Stormy Daniels to cover the legal fees of her lawsuit against the president. A porn actress, Stephanie Clifford who goes by the stage-name Stormy Daniels, sued the president in late 2016 over a non-disclosure agreement allegedly entered into by both parties over the past affair.
Daniels claimed that Trump made her enter into the NDA pact to remain silent forever over the illicit affair they carried on between 2006 and 2007. To buy her silence, Trump through his former lawyer Michael Cohen paid the sum of $130,000 to Daniels before she signed the agreement.
Cohen stated later that he paid the money out of his own pockets and Trump denied that he ever sent the lawyer to pay any money to the adult-film actress, claiming he did not know where Cohen got the money from.
“The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or campaign expenditure by anyone,” Cohen had said.
However, Trump and his new lawyer Rudy Giuliani later admitted that he refunded the $130,000 Cohen paid Daniels back to him.
In March 2018, Daniels filed a lawsuit requesting to pull out of the NDA since according to her, it was never signed by Trump and so invalid. The case did not go to trial and it was dismissed because none of the parties to the agreement was quiet about it, and so it was therefore moot and unenforceable.
Lawyers for the president argued that their client could not pay Daniel’s attorney fees since the case was thrown out, and because Trump did not enter into any NDA with the actress. But Judge Broadbelt disagreed, saying there was enough proof to the contrary.
According to the judge, Daniels must be reimbursed for her legal fees under California law since she was adjudged the “prevailing party” in the case despite its dismissal. Broadbelt said Trump may not have signed the NDA with Daniels, but the fact that he reimbursed $130,000 to Cohen makes him an effective party to the agreement.
Following the ruling, Daniels took to Twitter to celebrate her victory, tweeting “Yup! Another win!”