The Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a defamation case that the adult movie actress known as Stormy Daniels filed against former President Donald Trump, leaving in place lower court rulings that went against her.
In court papers, Daniels – whose real name is Stephanie Clifford – said that she agreed to cooperate with a magazine that was intending to publish details about her alleged relationship with Trump in 2006.
Afterward, she says, she was threatened by a stranger who approached her and told her “Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.”
She released a sketch of the man who threatened her. Shortly after the sketch was released, a Twitter user, not related to the parties in the case, tweeted out the sketch juxtaposed with a photo of Clifford’s ex-husband.
Trump retweeted the tweet writing “a sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it.)!”
After the tweet, Clifford sued Trump for defamation in the Southern District of New York. The case was then moved to the Central District of California. Trump sought to dismiss the case and won in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that because “the tweet could not reasonably be read as asserting that Ms. Clifford committed a crime, this theory of defamation is not viable.”