U.S. judge tosses out Stormy Daniels defamation suit against Trump

Arturo Kim
October 16, 2018

President Donald Trump has scored his first major legal victory against adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti, however, appears undeterred by the ruling and said that he would appeal the dismissal.

The lawsuit from Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, asked for damages stemming from statements from Trump calling her a liar for claims that she was paid to keep quiet about their extramarital relationship before the 2016 election.

She was discussing the way the president reportedly directed Eric Trump to handle the legal response to the claims and lawsuit brought by Stormy Daniels, who says she had an affair with Donald Trump.

District Judge James S Otero dismissed the suit on the grounds that the language Trump used to describe the allegations constitutes "rhetorical hyperbole" normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States, CNN reported.

"If this Court were to prevent Mr. Trump from engaging in this type of "rhetorical hyperbole" against a political adversary, it would significantly hamper the office of the President", the judge wrote.

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The judge's ruling also entitles Trump to collect attorneys' fees from Daniels, but the amount that Daniels would need to pay will be determined later, Harder said. He also says Daniels knows nothing about him and is "a total con".

"Federal Judge throws out Stormy Danials lawsuit versus Trump", the president tweeted.

Daniels sued after Trump tweeted in April about her release of a sketch of a man she said warned her in a Las Vegas parking lot not to talk about their tryst.

Mr Trump denies he had an affair but acknowledged reimbursing his lawyer for a $130,000 (€112,000) payment made to Ms Daniels.

Charles Harder, one of Trump's attorneys, praised Otero's decision, saying that the amount of legal fees owed would be announced at a later date.

A representative for first lady Melania Trump, whose "Be Best" campaign focuses on anti-cyberbullying efforts, did not immediately respond to HuffPost's request for comment. On Twitter, he said "Daniels' other claims against Trump and [former Trump attorney Michael] Cohen proceed unaffected".

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