Supreme Court shoots down Stormy Daniels' defamation suit against Trump

Washington — The Supreme Court on Monday turned away a defamation dispute between Stormy Daniels, a former adult film actress, and former President Donald Trump, who Daniels' claims to have had an affair with years before he was president.

In declining to revive the lawsuit filed by Daniels, the Supreme Court leaves untouched a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of the former president. Mr. Trump accused Daniels of lying about their alleged relationship and her claims that she was threatened by an unidentified man after agreeing to reveal the details of their tryst.

The legal battle between Mr. Trump and Daniels arose after Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, said she would speak with In Touch Weekly magazine about her purported affair with the former president in 2011. After agreeing to reveal the relationship, which she said occurred in 2006 after he married his third wife Melania Trump, Daniels said a stranger threatened her and her child in a parking lot, warning "Leave Trump alone. Forget the story."

Daniels then in 2018 released a sketch of the man she said threatened her, though Mr. Trump accused Daniels of lying, tweeting: "A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!"

In response to Mr. Trump's tweet, Daniels sued him for defamation in federal district court in New York. The case was then transferred to the federal court in California, after which Mr. Trump moved to dismiss the dispute, arguing Daniels sought to punish him for protected speech.

The federal court in California ruled for Mr. Trump and tossed out the dispute, ordering Daniels to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The 9th Circuit affirmed the judge's ruling to dismiss the suit.

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