US judge tosses out Stormy Daniels defamation suit against Trump

Stormy Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, attends the opening of the Venus erotic fair in Berlin, Germany, October 11, 2018. — Reuters pic
Stormy Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, attends the opening of the Venus erotic fair in Berlin, Germany, October 11, 2018. — Reuters pic

LOS ANGELES, Oct 16 — President Donald Trump scored his first major legal victory yesterday against porn star Stormy Daniels, as a federal US judge rejected her defamation suit against him.

Daniels — real name Stephanie Clifford — still has a separate lawsuit against the president linked to US$130,000 (RM540,137)  in hush money she was paid by Trump’s lawyer shortly before the November 2016 presidential election to keep quiet about an alleged affair.

US District Judge S. James Otero in Los Angeles tossed out the defamation suit Daniels filed earlier this year after Trump claimed on Twitter that the adult film actress had invented threats to silencer her over her claims the pair slept together more than a decade ago.

“The Court agrees with Mr Trump’s argument because the tweet in question constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States,” Otero wrote in his ruling.

“The First Amendment (of the US Constitution) protects this type of rhetorical statement.”

Daniels’s lawyer Michael Avenatti vowed to appeal the decision. — AFP

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