The porn actress is claiming a sexual encounter with President Donald Trump is intensifying her legal fight, suing the president for defamation.
Stormy Daniels filed the lawsuit in federal court in New York on Monday. What is at stake is a tweet made by Trump in which he ruled out a composite sketch that Daniels says represented a man who threatened her in 2011, not to mention his alleged relationship with Trump.
In the tweet at the beginning of April, Trump said: “A sketch years later about a non-existent man, a total scam job, playing false news media for fools (but they know it!)”
The presentation says the tweet was “false and defamatory,” arguing that Trump was talking about Daniels and that “he knew that his false and derogatory statement would be read by people all over the world, and would also be widely publicised.” He also says that Daniels has been “exposed to death threats and other threats of physical violence.”
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages. His lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said Monday: “We intend to teach Mr Trump that you can not just invent things about someone and spread them without serious consequences.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A lawyer representing Trump in another legal matter in New York did not respond to an email seeking comment.
The lawsuit is the latest legal move by Daniels, who is already demanding to be released from a confidentiality agreement that she accepted days before the 2016 election in exchange for $ 130,000. The payment was made by the president’s lawyer, Michael Cohen. That civil suit was delayed in federal court in Los Angeles on Friday, and the judge cited a criminal investigation Cohen faces.
Cohen called for a delay after FBI agents raided his home and office several weeks ago. The FBI was looking for records on the nondisclosure agreement. Cohen’s lawyer said in court last week that because the criminal investigation overlaps the issues of the lawsuit, his client’s right against self-incrimination could be adversely affected because he will not be able to respond and defend himself.
Aided by her tough lawyer, Michael Avenatti, Daniels has aggressively sought to keep her case in full view of the public. Several weeks ago, she unveiled a sketch on ABC’s “The View” that, according to her, represents the man who warned her in 2011 to keep quiet about a 2006 appointment with Trump. Daniels said the man approached her in a parking lot in Las Vegas when she was with her little daughter.
Trump faces a series of accusations about his sexual exploits long before running for president. The White House says Trump did not have a sexual encounter with Daniels, and the president has denied the other allegations as well.
Trump also faces a defamation lawsuit in New York filed by Summer Zervos, a former contestant of “The Apprentice.” Zervos has accused Trump of unwanted sexual contact in 2007 and sued him after he dismissed the claims as compensated. A judge ruled that the lawsuit can go forward.