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Judge orders porn star Stormy Daniels to pay Trump nearly US$300,000

Judge orders porn star Stormy Daniels to pay Trump nearly US$300,000

LOS ANGELES - A US federal judge in California has ordered porn star Stormy Daniels to pay Donald Trump nearly US$300,000 (S$411,885) for filing a defamation suit against the president that was dismissed.

US District Judge S. James Otero said Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, must pay Trump US$293,000 to cover the president's attorney fees and costs plus US$1,000 in sanctions for filing the lawsuit.

Daniels in her dismissed suit had accused Trump of defamation for characterizing as a "total con job" her claims of a presidential affair.

Otero, however, ruled that the language Trump used in his tweet was "rhetorical hyperbole" and therefore protected under the First Amendment.

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Trump's attorney Charles Harder hailed the ruling, along with an earlier one dismissing Daniels's defamation case, as a "total victory for the president, and a total defeat for Stormy Daniels in this case." Clifford has also sued Trump over a non-disclosure agreement. The judge has not dismissed that case.

Daniels's attorney Michael Avenatti said in a tweet after the latest ruling that his client planned to appeal and will likely never have to pay a dime.

"Charles Harder and Trump deserve each other because they are both dishonest," he wrote.

"If Stormy has to pay US$300k to Trump in the defamation case (which will never hold up on appeal) and Trump has to pay Stormy US$1.5 million in the NDA case (net US$1.2 million to Stormy), how is this a Trump win?"

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