Donald Trump told to pay six-figure costs of firm he sued


Donald Trump has been told to pay the six-figure legal costs of a company he sued over claims of “perverted” sex acts and bribes to Russian officials.

Mrs Justice Steyn threw out the case against Orbis Business Intelligence, a consultancy founded by former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, last month.

She found that Mr Trump’s compensation claim was “bound to fail”.

In a new ruling she also ordered Mr Trump to pay Orbis’s costs “of the entire claim”.

The order, obtained by the PA news agency on Thursday, also said Mr Trump has made no attempt to bring an appeal.

Mr Steele, who previously ran the Secret Intelligence Service’s Russia desk, was the author of the so-called Steele dossier.

This included uncorroborated intelligence claims, denied by Mr Trump, that the former US president had been “compromised” by the Russian security service, the FSB.

The High Court was told last year that Mr Trump was bringing a data protection claim over two memos in the dossier which claimed he had taken part in “sex parties” in St Petersburg and engaged in “golden showers” with prostitutes in Moscow.

Mrs Justice Steyn said Orbis has estimated its costs to be more than £600,000.

She said £300,000 should be paid by Mr Trump before the total costs are decided by a specialist judge.

The dossier, made up of more than a dozen memos, was produced by Orbis in 2016 before Mr Trump won the election that year to become US president. It was later leaked to and published by BuzzFeed in 2017.

At the hearing in October 2023, Hugh Tomlinson KC, for Mr Trump, described the allegations in the memos – which included a claim that the 77-year-old had “defiled” a bed previously used by former president Barack Obama and his wife – as “egregiously inaccurate”.

Dismissing the claim, Mrs Justice Steyn said the “mere fact” that Orbis had held copies of the memos could not cause Mr Trump distress.

Orbis welcomed the ruling last month, saying “we feel strongly that Mr Trump brought this claim in an attempt to exact revenge on Orbis and to chill free speech”.

Mr Trump is all but certain to win the Republican nomination and fight a likely election against incumbent President Joe Biden as he bids to return to the White House.

His last remaining rival Nikki Haley dropped out of the race on Wednesday.

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