Former President Donald Trump’s legal claim regarding allegations he took part in “perverted” sex acts and gave bribes to Russian officials has been dismissed by a High Court judge.
It has been noted that he had brought the data protection case in the UK after claims were published about him in the so-called “Steele Dossier” before the 2016 election – which saw Trump become president.
Trump’s claim was against Orbis Business Intelligence – a private investigations firm founded by former British spy Christopher Steele, who previously ran the Secret Intelligence Service’s (MI6) Russia desk.
Steele was the author of the dossier which included allegations Mr Trump had been “compromised” by the Russian security service, the FSB. Trump denied the claims.
The dossier made up of more than a dozen memos, was produced by Orbis in 2016 before it was leaked to and published by BuzzFeed in 2017. The former US president – who is running for re-election in 2024 after losing to Joe Biden in 2020 – brought legal action against Orbis and sought compensation for distress.
The court was told during a hearing last year Mr Trump was bringing his case over two memos in the dossier which claimed he had taken part in “sex parties” while in St Petersburg and engaged in “golden showers” with prostitutes in Moscow.
Hugh Tomlinson KC, representing Mr. Trump, described the allegations in the memos – which also included a claim the 77-year-old had “defiled” a bed previously used by former president Barack Obama and his wife – as “egregiously inaccurate”.
In a judgment on Thursday, Justice Steyn said: “In my view, there are no compelling reasons to allow the claim to proceed to trial in circumstances where, whatever the merits of the allegation that the personal data are inaccurate may be, the claim for compensation and/or damages… is bound to fail.”
She continued: “In reality, the claimant is seeking court findings to vindicate his reputation in circumstances where he has not been able to formulate any viable remedy which he would have a real prospect of obtaining, or which would itself be of any utility; and having chosen to allow many years to elapse – without any attempt to vindicate his reputation in this jurisdiction – since he was first made aware of the dossier, including the memoranda, on 6 January 2017.”
Dismissing the claim, Mrs Justice Steyn said the “mere fact” Orbis had held copies of the memos could not cause Mr Trump distress.
“Mere storage of the memoranda by the defendant cannot sensibly be said to have had any impact on the claimant – if he was even aware of it – not least in circumstances where the memoranda are on the internet,” the judge added.