Donald Trump Gets a Legal Smackdown in Defamation Suit

Real-estate mogul claimed it was malicious to suggest that he's worth a mere $200 million

Donald Trump received a setback in a New Jersey appeals court Wednesday, after a panel of judges upheld a ruling against him by another court, deeming that his defamation lawsuit against author Timothy L. O'Brien was without merit.

Trump had sued O'Brien, the author of 2009's "TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald," along with Time Warner Book Group and Warner Books, over a passage suggesting that Trump is worth far less than he claims.

In the passage, O'Brien cites three anonymous sources who put Trump's wealth at "somewhere between $150 million and $200 million," rather than the multiple billions that Trump has claimed.

The real-estate magnate had sought to establish that O'Brien had published the estimate with malicious intent.

However, in their decision Wednesday, the judges upheld a court's earlier summary judgment in O'Brien's favor, writing, "We find no triable as to the existence of actual malice in this matter, ad for that reason, affirm summary judgment for O'Brien."

Interestingly, over the course of the suit, Trump admitted that his estimations of his own wealth vary significantly due to numerous factors — including his own mood.

"My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings, even my own feelings, but I try [to be truthful about my worth]," Trump offered.

It should be interesting to see how this setback in the courts affects Trump's mood — and, thus, his wallet.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.