Adult film actress Stormy Daniels previously received $130,000 (£97,000) in hush money from Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen to keep quiet about an alleged sexual encounter between the two. Mr Trump has always denied that such an encounter took place.
He praised the appeals court for their ruling, calling it “a total and complete victory and vindication for, and of me” despite previously “bashing” the court while he was president, according to Sky News.
Ms Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, hit back on Twitter, replying to a gloating tweet with “I will go to jail before I pay a penny”.
The defamation case was first filed in 2018 by Ms Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti, which she claimed had been done “without my permission and against my wishes”.
Mr Avenatti was convicted last month of cheating Ms Daniels out of almost $300,000 in book proceeds.
Ms Daniels said she was menaced and threatened after news of the hush money payment came out when a man approached her while she was out with her daughter in Las Vegas.
She said the man told her to “leave Trump alone” before turning to her young daughter and saying: “That’s a beautiful little girl.
“It’d be a shame if something happened to her Mum.”
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It argued that due to Trump’s wide reach and social media following, Ms Daniels would be “subjected to threats of violence, economic harm, and reputational damage as a result”.
A federal judge in California ruled in Trump’s favour, stating that the tweet “constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States”.
That ruling was upheld last week by the 9th Circuit, finding that Ms Daniels had waited too long to appeal the original ruling.