Porn star Stormy Daniels sued President Donald Trump, saying a “hush agreement” to prevent her from talking about their purported affair isn’t valid because Trump never signed it.
Daniels wants a judge to void the agreement so she can avoid being dragged by Trump’s personal lawyer into an arbitration proceeding, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in Los Angeles.
According to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, she had an affair with Trump that began in the Summer of 2006 in Lake Tahoe and continued well into 2007, including at least one meeting in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen paid her $130,000 to stay quiet about the affair in 2016, when several women came forward with allegations of sexual misbehavior by Trump.
Michael Avenatti, Daniels’ lawyer said Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show that the actress did have a sexual relationship with Trump, but declined to say whether she had texts or photos that would corroborate it. He also said that she may ultimately return the money if the agreement is found to be void.
“It’s time for her to tell her story,” Avenatti said, adding that “there’s no question the president knew about” the non-disclosure agreement at the time.
The agreement, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, uses the pseudonyms David Dennison and Peggy Peterson and requires the actress to turn over any video and still images, as well as email and text messages in her possession.
Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, said last month he had paid Daniels out of his own pocket and neither the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign were involved. Cohen has since initiated an arbitration agreement against Daniels in Los Angeles, according to her lawsuit.
“Put simply, considerable steps have been taken by Mr. Cohen in the last week to silence Ms. Clifford through the use of an improper and procedurally defective arbitration proceeding hidden from public view,” according to the complaint. “The extent of Mr. Trump’s involvement is these efforts is presently unknown, but it strains credibility to conclude that Mr. Cohen is acting on his own accord without the express approval and knowledge of his client Mr. Trump.”
Cohen didn’t immediately respond to an email sent to the Trump Organization after regular business hours seeking comment on the lawsuit.
The case is Clifford v. Trump, BC696568, Los Angeles County Superior Court.