Due to an “unenforceable” nondisclosure agreement (NDA) that it attempted to enforce, former President Donald Trump’s campaign organization has been ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to a former staffer and her attorneys.
The Washington Post reported in February 2019 that Alva Johnson, a former Trump campaign staffer, claimed that he grabbed her hand and leaned in to kiss her on the lips on August 24, 2016, in Tampa, Florida. According to the former Trump campaign staffer, she moved her head and the then–GOP presidential candidate’s attempted kiss landed on the side of her mouth as she twisted her head.
Trump's campaign organization was ordered to pay more than $350,000 in legal fees and expenses for trying to enforce an "unenforceable" nondisclosure agreement against former staffer Alva Johnson. https://t.co/ofxb47Cxkj
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 20, 2022
BuzzFeed News initially reported on Friday that the Trump campaign had been compelled to pay Johnson and her lawyers just over $350,000 after attempting to enforce an NDA when she filed a lawsuit. In this dispute, the arbitrator, Victor Bianchini, a retired federal magistrate judge, found that the NDA was not legally sound.
Despite the fact that Johnson discontinued her complaint against Trump in September 2019, Bianchini agreed that the Trump campaign would be responsible for $303,285 in legal fees. In addition, the retired judge ruled that the Trump campaign must fund the expense of the arbitration, which was estimated to be around $50,000. Despite the fact that the decision was reached on March 10, the information was not made public until this week.
2. You can immedately cross #AlvaJohnson off your list🤣 Her case was thrown out months ago when video surfaced and proved she was lying (weird @andersoncooper never had her back) here’s the “assault” #BelieveWomen pic.twitter.com/y3R4efFhc2
— Rosie Memos (@almostjingo) May 1, 2020
“The Trump campaign has tried to use its unenforceable NDA to unlawfully silence its critics,” Johnson’s lawyer Hassan Zavareei said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “We are pleased that the arbitrator has held that these efforts cannot stand and ordered the campaign to compensate our client for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees that the campaign forced her to incur.”
“I am facing a judge who openly questions whether the kiss is worthy of a federal lawsuit and has determined that Mr. Trump’s history of such behavior is not relevant, and I’ve endured ongoing threats to my safety,” Johnson stated at the time. “I’ve decided for the sake of my family that I will not continue with the case at this time.”
Congratulations Alva Johnson! Today, the Trump Campaign Ordered to Fork Out $350K to Ex-Staffer.
"I can still see his lips coming straight for my face."
-Alva Johnson https://t.co/xLfVatDd0c pic.twitter.com/fPiKsgFzVO
— Stephanie Winston Wolkoff (@SWinstonWolkoff) March 19, 2022
Johnson previously told The Washington Post that Trump made her feel “immediately assaulted” because she “wasn’t expecting or wanting it.” “I can still picture his lips coming straight for my face,” she continued. When the publication inquired about the incident, alleged witnesses did not confirm Johnson’s story.
Trump campaign counsel requested that Johnson pay their legal fees when she abandoned her case. At the time, Zavareei told CNN that their demand was “nonsense” and “never going to happen.” The NDA, he claimed, was “unenforceable.”
Alva Johnson, who filed a lawsuit against the Trump campaign in 2019, accused the former president of grabbing her and kissing her without her consent during a campaign stop in Tampa, Florida, in 2016. https://t.co/6nOiodMy9Q
— 👑Princezzp👑 (@juslilmissp) March 19, 2022
At least 18 women had accused Trump of sexual misconduct as of September 2020. From coercive kissing and groping to rape, these charges have been made. Trump has maintained his denial of any wrongdoing.
In October 2016, just before the presidential election, an old hot-mic exchange between Trump and Billy Bush, who was an anchor for Access Hollywood at the time, garnered significant backlash. Trump appeared to concede in that 2005 chat that he had pushed himself on women at times.
Alva Johnson alleged that Trump attempted to forcibly kiss her during his 2016 presidential campaign. https://t.co/4E5QGFMcjy
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) March 18, 2022
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women—I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” the former reality television star and real estate mogul said. “Grab ’em by the p****y.”
After the hot-mic chat became public, Trump apologized but downplayed its significance.
“That’s what Trump did to me! I knew it! I knew it! I knew I wasn’t overreacting!” the former campaign staffer Alva Johnson recalls screaming when she saw the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape. For our ongoing series, Johnson tells @ejeancarroll her story. https://t.co/wn7sCjB7sN
— edward fields (@percetion) March 19, 2022
“This was locker-room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family. I apologize to the American people. Certainly, I’m not proud of it, but this is locker-room talk,” he said in an October 2016 presidential debate.