Adult film actress Stormy Daniels sued her former lawyer and President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen Wednesday in Santa Monica, alleging that the lawyers secretly worked together to persuade her to appear on Fox News and falsely deny that she had an affair with Trump a decade earlier.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, contends that Beverly Hills attorney Keith Davidson “abdicated his role as an advocate” for Daniels, “and instead elected to be a puppet for Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump.”
A spokesman for Davidson called the suit “outrageously frivolous.”
The suit, which seeks damages in excess of $100,000, alleges that Trump knew Davidson and Cohen were working together without Daniels’ knowledge.
Days before the 2016 presidential election, Davidson negotiated a nondisclosure agreement for Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) with Cohen, who paid the woman $130,000 to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Trump. She is suing Trump and Cohen in Los Angeles federal court to have the agreement nullified because, she alleges, Trump did not sign it.
The new suit contends that, in addition to “numerous violations of attorney ethics, Mr. Cohen recorded phone calls that he had with Mr. Davidson wherein Mr. Davidson disclosed client confidences and other confidential information relating to Ms. Clifford,” according to the suit, filed by Daniels’ current attorney Michael Avenatti.
In one text message, Cohen calls Davidson a “pal,” according to the complaint.
Through White House officials, Trump has denied the affair with Daniels. Cohen initially said he used his own money to pay Daniels and was not reimbursed by Trump. However, Trump — who initially publicly denied knowledge of the payment — subsequently conceded that Cohen was reimbursed.
The federal lawsuit also accuses Cohen of defamation over comments he made about Daniels’ truthfulness. Daniels filed a separate defamation suit against Trump in New York, alleging the president libeled her by saying she lied about a man she said threatened her to force her to keep quiet about her alleged relationship with Trump.
Cohen is under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in New York who are apparently investigating his business dealing, and the payment to Daniels.