Stormy Daniels’ Defamation Case Against Trump Dismissed by Judge

Porn actress contended that a tweet from the president was defamatory

Stormy Daniels Trump
Stormy Daniels pictured with Trump (from The Wall Street Journal)

A judge has dismissed a defamation claim leveled against President Donald Trump by porn star Stormy Daniels, according to paperwork obtained by TheWrap.

Daniels, who has said that Trump had an affair with her, filed suit in April, taking issue with a Trump tweet in which he dismissed a composite sketch that Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, says shows a man who threatened her to remain silent about her relationship with the president. Her suit contended that the tweet was defamatory.

Earlier that month, Clifford worked with a forensic artist to make a sketch of the man she says threatened her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011, telling her to “leave Trump alone” and “forget the story.” Daniels said the man also suggested something bad could happen to her should she ignore his warning.

In a tweet,Trump said that the man was “non-existent” and dismissed Daniels’ story as a “total con job” which he said was “playing the fake news media for fools.”

“Mr. Trump used his national and international audience of millions of people to make a false factual statement to denigrate and attack Ms. Clifford,” the complaint said.

Monday’s ruling held that Trump’s tweet constituted “rhetorical hyperbole” that’s protected by the First Amendment.

“Mr. Trump issued the tweet as a rejoinder against an individual challenging him in the public arena,” the decision reads. “This is the definition of protected rhetorical hyperbole. The Court denies Plaintiff leave to amend the Complaint.”

In a statement to TheWrap, Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, said that Trump is also entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees from Daniels.

United States District Judge S. James Otero issued an order and ruling today dismissing Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President Trump. The ruling also states that the President is entitled to an award of his attorneys’ fees against Stormy Daniels,” Harder said. “No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, Mr. Avenatti, can truthfully characterize today’s ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels. The amount of the award for President Trump’s attorneys’ fees will be determined at a later date.”

Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, said in a tweet Monday that other claims on Daniels’ part against Trump and Trump attorney Michael Cohen are “unaffected” by Monday’s decision, adding that he and his client will appeal the dismissal of the defamation cause.

“Re Judge’s limited ruling: Daniels’ other claims against Trump and Cohen proceed unaffected. Trump’s contrary claims are as deceptive as his claims about the inauguration attendance,” Avenatti wrote. “We will appeal the dismissal of the defamation cause of action and are confident in a reversal.”