Adult film star Stormy Daniels suffered a setback in her attempt to expose more information about her alleged affair with President Donald Trump. The judge hearing her defamation lawsuit dismissed the case. In addition, Daniels has been ordered to pay President Trump’s attorney’s fees.
U.S. District Judge S. James Otero issued the order Monday in Los Angeles. At issue was a tweet posted by Donald Trump. The judge decided that the tweet was an expression of free speech.
“The lawsuit came after Trump tweeted about a composite sketch of a man Daniels says threatened her in 2011 to keep quiet about an alleged affair,” The Daily Mail writes.
Trump, in his tweet, labeled Daniels’ accusations a “total con job.” This, Daniels felt, cast her as a liar.
The ruling determined that the tweet was not defamation, but a political statement.
“The Court agrees with Mr. Trump’s argument because the tweet in question constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States,” Otero stated. “The First Amendment protects this type of rhetorical statement.”
Charles Harder, the lawyer representing Trump, declared the dismissal a “total victory” for his client.
Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, is already planning an appeal.
When describing the man she said had threatened her, Daniels said “I noticed him because he was sort of well-dressed and nothing about him alarmed me.”
“I really thought he was somebody’s husband not wanting to be in whatever his wife was doing.”
But the man confronted her, and demanded that she “forget about this story, leave Mr. Trump alone.”
“We want to get to the bottom of who this is, and we think we know who this is, but we want to confirm it,” Avenatti said in an appearance on The View.
Daniels and Avenatti then went on a press tour, taking the story of the threatening stranger to CNN and 60 Minutes, and to other outlets.
While the one defamation suit has been dismissed, there is still one case open. Judge Otero is hearing the lawsuit surrounding the alleged payment of hush money to Stormy Daniels before his election in 2016.
The appeal seems certain. Daniels, meanwhile, is on a book tour promoting her new tell-all.