A U.S. federal judge in Los Angeles on Monday appeared poised to throw out adult film actress Stormy Daniel’s defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump on free-speech grounds, Reuters reported.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, sued the president in April over a tweet in which he denied her claims of being subtly threatened by a man in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011.
Daniels said the man was threatening her for going public about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. Trump has denied the affair took place, and cast doubt on her story of being threatened.
A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)! https://t.co/9Is7mHBFda
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018
“The question is whether the tweet by the president is protected communication or political hyperbole and non-defamatory on its face,” U.S. District Judge James Otero said during Monday’s hearing.
“He’s a public official, he’s president of the United States, so it doesn’t get much higher than that,” Otero said. “It’s free speech by a public official on a matter of public concern.”
He continued, “(Allowing) the complaint to go forward and to have one consider this to be defamatory in the context it was made would have a chilling effect,” Otero said during the hearing. – READ MORE
Lawyer Michael Avenatti argued Monday that President Trump can’t drop a $130,000 nondisclosure agreement with his client, adult-film star Stormy Daniels, after months of publicly trying to discredit her.
Avenatti rejected attempts by Trump and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to walk away from an October 2016 contract to keep Daniels from talking about her alleged 2006 affair with Trump, Bloomberg reportedMonday.
Their decision to abruptly drop the case comes after Trump and Cohen have denied Daniels’s allegations and called her a liar.
Daniels was initially threatened with having to pay more than $20 million in damages if she talked about the alleged relationship, Bloomberg noted.
“These threats were all premised on a giant lie,” Avenatti said in the filing. “If they are now to be believed, Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen never had a good faith basis to assert that they would be able to enforce the settlement agreement.” – READ MORE