Perez Hilton Wins $85,000 in Defamation Suit Brought by Lohan's Friend

Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton is entitled to nearly $85,000 to pay his legal costs in a defamation lawsuit brought by a friend of actress Lindsay Lohan, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Hilton, whose real name is Mario Lavandeira, also can receive an additional $2,000 if he requests it, Superior Court Judge Elihu M. Berle said.

"Perez Hilton will take steps to make sure every dime is collected," said his lawyer, Bryan J. Freedman. "This should make one careful before filing a lawsuit against him."

Samantha Ronson, who sued Hilton last year, was a passenger in Lohan's car when it crashed into a tree in Beverly Hills in May. She sued Hilton for repeating on his Web site a report from another site stating that she planted cocaine that was found in Lohan's car.

The judge removed Hilton from the lawsuit last November after the blogger's attorneys argued he was protected by free speech rights.

Ronson's attorney, David M. Bass, unsuccessfully argued that Hilton's lawyers' fees were excessive and that he should get no more than $13,400 to recover his legal costs.

Bass said Wednesday he was considering whether to take further legal action.

"We would like an opportunity for the court to consider all the facts," he said.