Days after a federal judge put the lawsuit between Stormy Daniels and the president and his personal lawyer on hold, the porn star has announced she is now also suing Donald Trump for defamation.
The defamation suit, filed Monday by Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti, claims that Trump’s April 18 tweet about a sketch of a man who had allegedly threatened Daniels exposed her to “hatred, contempt, ridicule, and shame, and discouraged others from associating or dealing with her.” The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.
Last week, Daniels’ initial lawsuit against Trump and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen was delayed for 90 days, while proceedings in an ongoing criminal investigation into Cohen move forward. Prior to that ruling, Cohen had filed to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in the civil case over a confidentiality agreement that Daniels signed in October 2016.
In the original case, Daniels claims she signed a $130,000 agreement to stay silent about an alleged affair she had with Trump in 2006. But she argues the agreement is not valid, because Trump never signed it. Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen says he personally paid Daniels in the days before the 2016 election. Because of the timing and nature of the payment, it could constitute a violation of campaign finance laws.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has also said that a man physically threatened her to remain quiet about her affair with Trump in 2011. Working with a sketch artist, Daniels released a drawing of the man, which is what prompted Trump to take to Twitter:
According to Monday’s court filing, Daniels has been “exposed to death threats and other threats of physical violence, causing her both emotional and economic damages.”
Daniels’ initial case against Trump and Cohen was filed in California. Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Trump was filed in the Southern District of New York, which is also where Cohen’s criminal case is being pursued.