A federal judge in California has ordered Stormy Daniels to pay $293,052.33 in attorney’s fees as a result of the defamation suit she brought, via her lawyer Michael Avenatti, against President Trump earlier this year.
The suit concerned Trump’s tweet that Daniels’ allegation that an unknown man threatened her in a parking lot to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump is a “total con job.” Federal District Judge S. James Otero tossed the case. He found that the tweet in question constitutes “rhetorical hyperbole normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States” and that therefore it is protected by the First Amendment.
Judge Otero also ruled that Trump was entitled to attorneys’ fees under a Texas statute that requires the losing party in these kinds of cases to pay the winning side’s legal fees. Today, he determined the fee amount to be just under $300,000.
Trump had sought $340,000, but Otero knocked the amount down a bit, finding that Trump’s attorneys worked more hours than they reasonably would have been expected to. The rate of return here, about 85 percent, isn’t bad in an attorneys’ fees case.
Avenatti says Daniels will win substantially more than what she now owes Trump in another lawsuit. We’ll see. I wouldn’t bet on it.
In the meantime Daniels should be thinking about where she’ll find the $300,000 she currently owes the president. I imagine she could raise it by asking Trump-haters to fund her.
In addition, Daniels is making money stripping throughout America. She has stormed through Washington, D.C. at least twice. I’m told she’s a good dancer, but that might have been a polite way of saying she’s too old to be stripping.
Ultimately, Daniels might be able to recoup the money from her self-aggrandizing lawyer. She claims that Avenatti filed the suit against Trump without her consent. There’s a potential lawsuit in that. Or maybe Avenatti has a suit for defamation against Daniels.
The possibilities seem endless. But there appears to be little possibility that Avenatti is solvent enough at this point to pay Daniels anything.