Pasadena Appeals Court Rejects Stormy Daniels’ Libel Suit Against President Donald Trump

PASADENA (CBSLA) — A Pasadena appeals court on Friday upheld a federal judge’s 2019 ruling to dismiss a lawsuit from adult film star Stormy Daniels against President Donald Trump.

Trump tweeted last year that Daniels’ claim of being threatened in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011 to keep quiet about her alleged 2006 affair with him quiet was a “total con job.”

The three-judge panel in Pasadena affirmed that the president is able to tweet any opinion and that Daniels did not prove he acted with malice in the tweet.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and her former attorney Michael Avenatti released a sketch of the man who she said threatened her, and Trump denied the incident happened.

Trump tweeted on April 18, 2018, “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 a Twitter user comparing the sketch to an image of Daniels’ former husband.

The court stated in the appellate ruling that under Texas law, where Daniels lives, “statements of opinion cannot form the basis of a defamation claim.”

According to the ruling, “Viewed through the eyes of an objectively reasonable reader, the tweet here reflects Mr. Trump’s opinion about the implications of the allegedly similar appearances of Ms. Clifford’s ex-husband and the man in the sketch.”

Daniels has claimed that she had sex with Trump in 2006 while he was married to now First Lady Melania Trump.

Trump has denied any sexual relationship with Daniels.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)