A California court has ordered President Donald Trump to pay $44,100 to Stephanie Clifford, the adult-film actress known as Stormy Daniels, to cover her legal fees regarding their dispute over a nondisclosure agreement. California Superior Court Judge Robert Broadbelt filed his order Monday but it was only posted online Friday by Clifford’s attorneys.
Clifford claims she had an affair with Trump, which he denies, from 2006 to 2007. She signed a nondisclosure agreement in 2016 in exchange for a $130,000 payment that was made by Michael Cohen, who was Trump’s personal attorney at the time. Trump had claimed he knew nothing of the nondisclosure agreement but Cohen later said that wasn’t true and alleged that he was reimbursed by the Trump Organization for the payment. Trump later changed his story and acknowledged the payment but said it was “used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair.” Clifford had filed a lawsuit against Trump in 2018 seeking to be released from the agreement. The president and his lawyers later agreed they wouldn’t sue or enforce the agreement.
Even though Clifford’s lawsuit was dismissed because the agreement was deemed to be unenforceable, she still tried to get reimbursed for attorney’s fees and other costs related to the case. Broadbelt ruled that even though the case was dismissed, Clifford was entitled to legal fees because she was the “prevailing party” under California law. Trump’s attorneys had tried to argue that the president was not liable for the legal fees because he had not signed the nondisclosure agreement but Brodbelt rejected that argument in part because of Trump’s reimbursement to Cohen.
For more of Slate’s news coverage, subscribe to What Next on Apple Podcasts or listen below.
Support our independent journalism
Readers like you make our work possible. Help us continue to provide the reporting, commentary, and criticism you won’t find anywhere else.Join Slate Plus