Stormy Daniels sues Trump for defamation
Adult-film star Stormy Daniels has filed a defamation suit against President Trump in addition to her ongoing one against his personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
Daniels’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, tweeted Monday that his client has filed the lawsuit for Trump’s “irresponsible and defamatory statements” about Daniels, whom Cohen paid $130,000 as part of a nondisclosure agreement weeks before the 2016 election.
The complaint alleges that Trump’s tweets mocking Daniels over a forensic sketch of a man she says threatened her to keep quiet about her claims of an affair with the president amount to defamation because they accuse her of fabricating the alleged crime, which would itself be illegal.
Moments ago, we filed this lawsuit against Mr. Trump for his recent irresponsible and defamatory statements about my client @stormydaniels. He is well aware of what transpired and his complicity. We fully intend on bringing it to light. #buckleup #bastahttps://t.co/ZuBjI1EY9z
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 30, 2018
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is seeking damages in excess of $75,000, claiming that in posting the tweets, Trump knew that Daniels “would be subjected to threats of violence, economic harm, and reputational damage.”
Daniels claimed in a “60 Minutes” interview last month that in 2011 a man approached her and her infant daughter in a parking lot and threatened her not to speak about the alleged affair.
“He leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, ‘That’s a beautiful little girl,’ ” Daniels said. “ ‘It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.’ And then he was gone.”
In response to the forensic sketch Daniels released, Trump tweeted that the situation was “a total con job,” and shared a tweet that compared the sketch to a photo of Daniels’s ex-husband, suggesting that the two are the same person.
Cohen has requested and on Friday received a 90-day stay in Daniels’s lawsuit against him, following the FBI raids on his office, home and hotel room earlier this month.
Last week, Cohen invoked his Fifth Amendment rights in the suit, saying he could not effectively defend himself because it might incriminate him in the federal case.
The FBI raids included documents related to the $130,000 payment, among other issues. They came in part from a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, though the case against Cohen is reportedly not directly related to the probe into Russia’s election interference.
Cohen is reportedly under investigation for campaign finance and bank fraud violations.