Thursday 19 July 2018

Porn star tries to get out of hush deal over 'Trump affair'

Porn star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Photo: Reuters
Porn star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Photo: Reuters

Jonathan Gray

A porn star who has said she had sex with President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate a non-disclosure agreement that she signed days before the 2016 presidential election, which prevented her from discussing the alleged sexual encounters.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that the agreement is "null and void and of no consequence" because Mr Trump didn't personally sign it.

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, said she wanted to go public with the details of her alleged sexual relationship with Mr Trump in the weeks leading up to the election, according to the lawsuit. Ms Clifford and Mr Trump's attorney Michael Cohen signed the non-disclosure agreement on October 28, 2016.

Clifford alleges that she began an "intimate relationship" with Mr Trump in 2006 and that it continued "well into the year 2007", according to the lawsuit.

She said the relationship included encounters in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and Beverly Hills, California. Mr Trump married his current wife, Melania Trump, in 2005.

Ms Clifford has claimed she had sex with Mr Trump once and then carried on a subsequent years-long platonic relationship. She has also, through a lawyer, denied the two had an affair. Mr Cohen has denied there was ever an affair.

Mr Cohen has said he paid the porn actress $130,000 (€105,000) out of his own pocket as part of the agreement. He has also said that "neither the Trump Organisation nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly".

Lawsuit

The lawsuit charges that the "hush agreement" is legally invalid because it was only signed by Ms Clifford and Mr Cohen.

The agreement refers to Mr Trump as David Dennison and Ms Clifford as Peggy Peterson, but an attached exhibit details their true identities. Ms Clifford's lawsuit also alleges that Mr Trump and Mr Cohen "aggressively sought to silence Ms Clifford as part of an effort to avoid her telling the truth, thus helping to ensure he won the presidential election".

"To be clear, the attempts to intimidate Ms Clifford into silence and 'shut her up' in order to 'protect Mr Trump' continue unabated," the lawsuit said.

Ms Clifford alleges that as recently as last week, Mr Trump's attorney tried to initiate an arbitration proceeding against her.

Neither Mr Cohen nor the White House immediately responded to requests for comment.

NBC News first reported the existence of the lawsuit.

Irish Independent

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