Former President Trump was awarded about $121,972 in attorney fees from adult film star Stormy Daniels just hours after the former president appeared in court Tuesday for the first time in connection to hush money payments made to Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Daniels to pay Trump for attorney fees endured during a 2018 defamation lawsuit that she filed against him. The lawsuit, which was dismissed later that year, was based on a tweet posted by Trump that suggested Daniels had lied about being threatened by an unknown man in 2011 in relation to an alleged affair she had with the former president.
The court said that the fees requested by Trump were “reasonable,” after Daniels’ legal team argued that the fees were “unreasonable,” according to court documents.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephane Clifford, was ordered to pay Trump’s legal fees when the case was dismissed. Daniels then appealed her case to the Supreme Court, which declined last year to hear the case.
Daniels has previously said that she would “go to jail” before paying any money to the former president.
“I will go to jail before I pay a penny,” Daniels said after a federal appeals court last year upheld the decision that ordered her to pay Trump $300,000 in attorneys’ fees.
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted in celebration of the news on Tuesday, claiming this payment is “in addition to the roughly $500k she already owes him”.
Attorney Harmeet Dhillion, who leads one of the law firms that represented Trump during the defamation case, tweeted her congratulations to Trump about the awarded sum.
“Congratulations to President Trump on this final attorney fee victory in his favor this morning,” Dhillion said. “Collectively, our firm obtained over $600,000 in attorney fee awards in his favor in the meritless litigation initiated by Stormy Daniels.”
Trump pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 34 felony counts, including falsifying business records in connection with payments made to Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election to keep her from discussing an alleged affair with Trump.