Judge tosses Stormy Daniels' defamation suit against Trump

Stormy Daniels accompanied by her attorney Michael Avenatti right seen Mon

A federal judge on Monday dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by porn star Stormy Daniels against President Donald Trump and ordered the woman to pay the president's legal fees.

Daniels, who says she had an affair with Trump in 2006, sued him in April after he disputed her claim that she was being threatened by a unidentified man in 2011 as "a total con job".

Daniels said the man was threatening her for going public about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.

In his ruling, Judge S James Otero said Mr Trump's tweet was protected by freedom of speech. "The First Amendment protects this type of rhetorical statement", Otero wrote.

Attorneys for Trump have sought to dismiss both lawsuits.

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Her lawyer said she would appeal against the decision.

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"Having granted the Special Motion [to dismiss] and denied Plaintiff leave to amend, the Court finally holds that Defendant is entitled to attorney's fees", Otero 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 case is Clifford v. Trump, 18-cv-06893, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

The unidentified man allegedly warned her not to publicize her purported sexual affair with Trump. The president, who has continued to deny any relationship with Daniels, later lambasted her claims on Twitter, saying they were "a total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!"

"Trump's contrary claims are as deceptive as his claims about the inauguration attendance", Avenatti tweeted Monday night. Avenatti has said he wants to keep the case alive. Daniels has argued the agreement should be invalidated because Trump's then-personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, signed it, but Trump did not. Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News. Cohen had threatened to sue her for $20 million.

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to campaign finance violations alleging he coordinated with Trump on a hush-money scheme to buy the silence of Daniels and a Playboy model who alleged affairs. He said he made the payments at Mr Trump's request.

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