Sunday 17 June 2018

Trump lawyer says he paid porn star out of his own pocket

Stephanie Clifford – aka porn star Stormy Daniels. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
Stephanie Clifford – aka porn star Stormy Daniels. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

Rozina Sabur in Washington

Donald Trump's lawyer has admitted paying a former porn star $130,000 (€105,000) before the US presidential election.

The revelation follows reports that the actress, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, was paid to sign an agreement stopping her discussing an alleged affair with Mr Trump.

Michael D Cohen, Mr Trump's long-time personal lawyer, has previously said the US president "vehemently denies" the sexual encounter occurred.

The alleged non-disclosure agreement was first reported by the 'Wall Street Journal' earlier this year, and was said to have been made in October 2016 - just a month before the election.

Daniels - real name Stephanie Clifford - has been in more than 150 adult films and previously claimed she had an affair with Mr Trump in 2006. Mr Cohen has now confirmed that he paid the sum to the former porn star, but refused to say what the money was for or whether Mr Trump was aware of the payment.

He made the public admission after a watchdog group complained about the payment, arguing it could be classed as an undisclosed campaign contribution.

"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," Mr Cohen told 'The New York Times'. The lawyer said he had told the Federal Election Commission the same after Common Cause, a government watchdog, suggested that Mr Cohen violated campaign finance laws. "The payment to Ms Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone," he said.

The payment is thought to have been made around the same time as the release of an 'Access Hollywood' tape that showed Mr Trump boasting about groping women.

Ms Clifford gave an account of the alleged affair to a US magazine in 2011 but the story was only published in January, after claims of the "hush money" agreement came to light. Ms Clifford (38) said she met and had sex with Mr Trump in July 2006 at a celebrity golf event, just months after his wife, Melania, gave birth to their son, Barron.

She added that she subsequently met with Mr Trump (71) on a number of other occasions. Mr Cohen released a statement in her name denying the affair, but in interviews Ms Clifford chose not to publicly deny it and refused to answer questions about it. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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