A federal judge dealt a crushing blow to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who had vowed with attorney Michael Avenatti to take down President Donald Trump.
The ruling is the second legal calamity in recent months for Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford).
In December, a judge ordered Clifford to fork over $300,000 in legal fees after he dismissed her defamation suit against the president.
Yesterday, a different judge threw out another lawsuit Daniels filed against the president, this one about a $130,000 nondisclosure agreement she signed before the 2016 election promising not to discuss her alleged affair with then-candidate Trump. (Daily Wire)
Despite having received the money, Daniels quickly sought to violate the agreement, repeatedly appearing on television in 2017 to tease her big reveal of what supposedly happened that night. She eventually aired it all and included some rather specific details in her tell-all book, which enjoyed a bunch of free press due to the massive media coverage Daniels and her celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti received.
“The Court grants Defendants’ Motions and holds that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the only remaining cause of action in Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint, the cause of action for declaratory relief,” Judge S. James Otero of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles wrote in his ruling Thursday, remanding the case back to state court. “The move back to state court essentially kills the high-profile case,” Deadline reports.
The legal argument behind the case, Otero argued, was moot because Daniels has not been held to the terms of the NDA, Trump making clear in September that he would not enforce it. “Indeed, Ms. Daniels and her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, have spoken freely about the arrangement since the filing last March,” The New York Times reports. “The lawsuit led to escalating national attention that culminated in Mr. Cohen’s pleading guilty to related campaign-finance crimes last summer.”
Both parties have declared victory in the case. Trump’s lawyer Charles Harder said in a statement to Deadline: “The US District Court confirmed today that the claim against the President has no basis in law. Combined with the attorneys’ fees and sanctions award in the President’s favor totaling $293,000, the President has achieved total victory.”
Avenatti took to social media to claim victory despite suffering an explicit defeat.
Yet again, lots of misreporting going on. Be clear: The Court specifically found that Stormy received everything she asked for in the lawsuit – she won. How people can claim this is a “loss” after we forced Trump and Cohen to cave and Cohen has been convicted, etc. is a mystery.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 8, 2019
The mainstream media would beg to differ, Michael.
— Simone???????? (@LkDeS3) March 8, 2019
— josh (@_2josh) March 8, 2019
— Jeremy Song (@tezuma75) March 8, 2019