Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, negotiated a $1.6 million settlement between a top Republican donor and a Playboy playmate after she became pregnant following an affair, the donor acknowledged on Friday.
“I acknowledge I had a consensual relationship with a Playboy Playmate,” Elliott Broidy, a venture capitalist who was appointed to serve as Deputy Chairman of the Republican National Committee’s finance team, said in a statement Friday. “At the end of our relationship, this woman shared with me that she was pregnant. She alone decided that she did not want to continue with the pregnancy and I offered to help her financially during this difficult period.”
Sources familiar with the situation said RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel had accepted Broidy’s resignation from the finance committee. The RNC did not respond to multiple requests for comment when asked if Cohen was still serving on the committee.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news of Broidy’s settlement. Broidy served on the finance committee with Cohen, who is now under criminal investigation for his business dealings. Broidy said Cohen reached out to him after being contacted by Keith Davidson, the woman’s attorney. Davidson did not immediately respond to request for comment.
“It is unfortunate that this personal matter between two consenting adults is the subject of national discussion just because of Michael Cohen’s involvement,” Broidy said.
This is not the first time Broidy has come under scrutiny this year. The New York Times reported in March he used his access to Trump to advocate for softer policies towards Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in order to procure lucrative contracts for his contracting company. The Times also reported that month that Broidy used his relationship with Trump as marketing fodder for his clients, offering favors like a trip to the president’s Mar-A-Lago resort and tickets to V.I.P inauguration events.
The news of Broidy’s settlement comes the same day the Department of Justice said Cohen is under criminal investigation for his business dealings. Earlier this week, his hotel room and offices were raided by FBI agents.
In the weeks before the 2016 election, Cohen paid the porn star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, $130,000 so she would not publicly discuss her affair with President Trump. The payment has become a source of a complaint with the federal election commission and a legal battle. Daniels sued Trump on the grounds that the non-disclosure agreement she signed regarding the affair was invalid. Weeks later, she expanded the suit to include Cohen, who she is suing for defamation.