Trump marketing campaign settles lawsuit, voids non-disclosure agreements
Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in front of his plane March 12, 2016 in Vandalia, Ohio.
Brooks Force | Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign worker agreed to overturn non-disclosure agreements signed by hundreds of campaign workers and volunteers as a condition of their work in a $450,000 settlement in a class action lawsuit by a former campaign worker.
The deal, revealed in a court filing on Friday, ended a lawsuit filed by former Trump campaign aide Jessica Denson in US District Court in Manhattan.
The settlement invalidates all other NDAs signed by Trump campaign employees and potentially opens the door for them to publicly discuss events related to the 2016 race and Trump himself without fear of potentially financially ruinous legal retaliation from him have.
Trump, who defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 White House race, has required his employees to sign non-disclosure agreements for decades. In November, he announced that he would seek the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
“This compromise is indeed a total victory for Jessica Denson and everyone involved in the 2016 Trump campaign,” said David Bowles, an attorney for Denson.
“Trump’s NDA is invalid and unenforceable, and campaign officials should never have lived in its shadow,” Bowles said.
Trump’s campaign officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the settlement, which was first reported by Bloomberg on Friday.
Attorneys for the campaign had stated in a court filing that “the campaign states that it has, at its own request, informed all such employees, contractors and volunteers, in a signed letter, that they are ‘no longer bound by this secrecy and secrecy. Reduction Provisions.'”
Last April, an arbitrator ordered Trump’s campaign to pay $1.3 million in 2016 legal fees to Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former “Apprentice” star whom the campaign was unsuccessful over a book about her tenure as an advisor of the White House sued.
That award came months after the same arbiter ruled that the non-disclosure agreement she signed while working on Trump’s campaign was invalid under New York law.
Denson filed her lawsuit in 2020, saying the Trump campaign tried to silence her after going public with allegations that she had been the target of abusive treatment and sexual discrimination at the hands of another campaign member .
Denson’s attorneys said in court filings that the NDAs they and others signed were too broad under the law.
The lawyers cited language that prevents disclosure of information “that Mr. Trump insists remains private” and blocks anything that might be “degrading”.[ing] or disparage[ing] public” about him.
Judge Paul Gardephe, in a March 2021 ruling, invalidated the non-disclosure and non-disclosure provisions, setting a potential precedent for future cases regarding the non-disclosure agreements.
The Trump campaign will pay $450,000 into the settlement, the vast majority of which will cover Denson’s attorneys’ fees and expenses.
Denson himself will get $25,000 as part of the deal.
Prior to the settlement, the 2016 Trump campaign said it would exempt all employees, contractors and volunteers from any non-disclosure or non-denigration agreements.
Before the deal went through, Trump’s campaign attempted to seal the financial terms of the settlement, saying it could affect his ability to negotiate similar legal settlements in the future.
Gardephe denied that request last month.