In 2018, Stormy Daniels filed a defamation action against President Donald Trump. Daniels claimed that Trump’s tweet in response to her release of a drawing of a man she said had threatened her shortly after she agreed to give an interview about their alleged 2006 encounter implied that she was lying. The tweet: “Years later, a sketch about an imaginary person. Playing all of the Fake News outlets for Fools (but they all know it)!”
In April 2018, Daniels filed a defamation lawsuit against the President, alleging that his comments had damaged her reputation and caused emotional distress. The suit was subsequently dismissed by a federal court judge who ruled that Trump’s statements were not defamatory and were protected by free speech. In February 2021, Daniels appealed the court’s decision all the way up to the Supreme Court, which it later declined to take up.
To avoid getting too deep into the weeds, the Appeals Court had ruled that the award of attorney fees was the final judgment when it was filed in Dec. 2018, and therefore her appeal of it, which was not presented until Aug. 2020, is untimely and has to be dismissed. However, Avenatti’s firm has not shared those documents with Daniels’ previous attorney, who is seeking to depose Daniels in California. (Daniels’ former lawyer, Michael Avenatti, was not available for comment.) The decision, which was published Monday night but dated March 18, 2022, was issued under an unpublished opinion.
Trump’s attorneys, including Mark Meuser and Harmeet Dhillon of Dhillon Law Group, celebrated the victory following the decision.
The statement from Trump reads:
“The Stormy Daniels lawsuit case that was filed against me by her terrible lawyer, Michael Avenatti, was recently decided by the 9th Circuit,” it continues. “The lawsuit was only a political stunt that should’ve never started, or allowed to occur,” he says, continuing in classic Trump fashion. “I’m glad my attorneys were able to bring the case to a successful end after the court completely rejected her appeal,” he adds. “Now all I need to do is wait for my money that she owes me.”
Then, in the grand finale: “P.S. The Fake News is unlikely to cover this story!”