Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Omarosa Manigault (right) attend a church service, in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. September 3, 2016.
Carlos Allegri | Reuters
An arbitrator has ordered Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to pay $1.3 million in legal fees to Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former ‘Apprentice’ star whom the campaign unsuccessfully sued for a book about her tenure as an adviser at the White House, his attorney said Wednesday.
The award comes nearly seven months after the arbitrator ruled in favor of Manigault Newman that a confidentiality agreement she signed while working on the Trump campaign in 2016 was not valid under New York law.
The 2018 campaign filed a lawsuit with the American Arbitration Association in New York against her, claiming she violated that nondisclosure agreement with a scathing tell-all book titled “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House.” “.
Manigault Newman’s attorney, John Phillips, said in a statement that the ruling was “the largest known attorney’s fee award against a political campaign or president that we can find and will hopefully send a message that armed litigation will not be tolerated and will empower other lawyers to rise up and fight for the whistleblower and vocal critic against the oppressive machine.”
“However, the $1.3 million pales in comparison to the $3-4 million the Trump campaign paid its own attorneys to suppress speech,” Phillips said.
“That’s a lot of donations that have gone to lawyers in the name of politics. It’s truly shameful. We look forward to receiving a check and will be donating some of the proceeds to groups that oppose the removal of speech.”
A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Manigault Newman first gained notoriety for her role as the villainous contestant on the first season of Trump’s former reality TV show “The Apprentice.”
In her book, she detailed her brief stint as a White House adviser before being fired by Trump’s White House chief of staff John Kelly in December 2017.
In 2018, she revealed that she secretly taped senior Trump administration officials, including Kelly. In her book, she accused Trump of using racist language, alleging there are recordings of him using racial slurs.
Trump’s White House at the time said his book was “riddled with lies.”