Stormy Daniels files lawsuit against Trump, alleging invalid ‘hush’ agreement


Stormy Daniels is known as the adult film star who says she had a sexual encounter with Donald Trump in 2006, while he was married to Melania. Here’s what you may not know about her. USA TODAY

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The lawsuit, first reported by NBC News, is the first time Daniels has openly admitted to having a “hush” agreement to cover up her relationship with Trump, which she says lasted from 2006 to 2007, according to the lawsuit. 

Neither Cohen nor White House officials immediately responded to requests for comments about the lawsuit Tuesday evening.

In the lawsuit, filed by Los Angeles attorney Michael Avenatti, Daniels argues that because the agreement is invalid, she’s under no obligation to remain silent. But the lawsuit says attempts to “intimidate” her “into silence and ‘shut her up’ in order to ‘protect Mr. Trump’ continue unabated.”

As recently as Feb. 27 of this year, Cohen began “a bogus arbitration proceeding” against Daniels in Los Angeles to keep her quiet, the lawsuit argues. The agreement, attached as an an exhibit to the lawsuit, specifies arbitration as a way to resolve disputes.

Earlier today, we filed this complaint seeking a ct order voiding the alleged “hush” agreement between our client S. Clifford aka Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump.

— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 7, 2018

Last month, Cohen admitted to paying Daniels $130,000 but did not say what the payment was for. He said he used his personal funds to “facilitate” the payment and was not reimbursed by the Trump campaign or the Trump Organization. 

 reported in January that Cohen arranged the payment with Daniels to keep her from publicly discussing the alleged sexual encounter during the presidential campaign.

After the report,  published a 2011 interview with Daniels in which she claimed she and Trump had a sexual encounter after meeting at a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Nev., a year after his marriage to Melania Trump, his third wife.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, Daniels argues that Trump likely knows about Cohen’s ongoing attempts to silence her because the rules of the New York Bar Association, of which Cohen is a member, require that he keep his client informed of his activities.

“It strains credulity to conclude that Mr. Cohen is acting of his own accord without the express approval and knowledge of his client Mr. Trump,” the lawsuit adds

The lawsuit against the president from a former porn star comes amid days of upheaval and staff departures in the Trump White House.

Last week, communications director Hope Hicks, a trusted aide, announced her departure. On Tuesday, White House economic adviser Gary Cohn announced his resignation after a fierce debate with Trump over the president’s plan to impose tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminum.

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