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Judge orders Trump to pay legal fees to Stormy Daniels

A California court ordered President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE to pay $44,100 to Stephanie Clifford, the adult-film actress known as Stormy Daniels, to cover her legal fees regarding her nondisclosure agreement. 

The order from California Superior Court Judge Robert Broadbelt, which was filed on Monday but posted online Friday by Clifford's attorneys, surrounds a $130,000 nondisclosure agreement (NDA) with former attorney Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenOutrage grows as Justice seeks to contain subpoena fallout Stormy Daniels says her attorney is in contact with prosecutors investigating Trump Organization Federal judge to appoint special master to review materials seized from Giuliani MORE in his capacity representing Trump. Clifford and Cohen both say Trump had an affair with the actress from 2006 to 2007, claims the president denies.

Clifford first sued Trump in 2018 to try to be released from the agreement, and Trump’s lawyers agreed out of court not to countersue or enforce the NDA. Clifford’s suit was ultimately dismissed and her claims ruled moot since the NDA had been deemed unenforceable.

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This week’s decision was the culmination of Clifford’s efforts to be reimbursed by Trump for the legal expenses related to the case. 

Broadbelt ruled that Clifford was entitled to be reimbursed for the legal fees after deciding she was the "prevailing party" under California law even though the case was dismissed. 

He also dismissed arguments from Trump’s attorneys that he was not responsible for covering the fees because he did not sign the NDA, ruling that because Trump had reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 and since the president’s legal team had argued that a defamation suit from Clifford should be handled by an NDA arbiter, Trump was effectively a party to the deal.