Stormy Daniels Files Suit, Claims NDA Invalid Because Trump Didn't Sign At The XXX
President Trump's proclivity for putting his name on buildings, steaks, ties and certificates is well-known. But former adult film actress Stormy Daniels says he failed to put his name on their contract.
Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, filed a civil suit against President Trump on Tuesday alleging the nondisclosure agreement she signed just days before the 2016 election is invalid because it's missing Trump's signature.
The suit alleges Trump "purposely did not sign the agreement so he could later, if need be, publicly disavow any knowledge of the 'Hush Agreement' " or the affair.
Michael Avenatti, Clifford's lawyer, posted a complete copy of the lawsuit to Twitter on Tuesday evening. It does not ask for damages, only that the court declare the contract "invalid, unenforceable, and/or void."
Clifford also confirms details about the supposed affair with Trump. She says she began an "intimate relationship" with Trump years before his political aspirations took shape and more than a year into his marriage to now-first lady Melania Trump. She says that it began in the summer of 2006 in Lake Tahoe and that it lasted "well into 2007."
The White House and Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who drafted the agreement, have repeatedly denied the alleged sexual encounter. And the complaint alleges Cohen used "intimidation and coercive tactics" to force Clifford into signing a false statement denying the extramarital affair with Trump.
The actress issued a statement in January addressed "To Whom It May Concern" saying, "I am not denying this affair because I was paid 'hush money' as has been reported in overseas owned tabloids. I am denying it because it never happened."
The existence of the nondisclosure contract became known after The Wall Street Journal reported Cohen arranged to pay Clifford $130,000 just days before the 2016 presidential election to stop her from going public with her story. Money for the payment was drawn from Essential Consultants LLC, a company that, Clifford says in the complaint, Cohen created" for the express purpose of hiding the true source of funds."
Cohen has said that he paid Clifford out of his own pocket and that he was never reimbursed by the Trump campaign or the Trump Organization. However, he has refused to explain why he paid Clifford the generous sum.
Common Cause, a government watchdog group, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission stating that the payment was an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign.
Cohen denies the allegations, saying they are "factually unsupported and without legal merit, and my counsel has submitted a response to the F.E.C."
It is unclear whether Clifford intends to return the $130,000 payment from Cohen.
According to the lawsuit, Clifford was inspired to step forward with her account of at least one tryst with Trump at the Beverly Hills Hotel shortly after the Access Hollywood tape was released. In it, Trump is caught using crude language about women and describing how he would hit on them. But Cohen, who at the time was an attorney for the Trump Organization, stepped in with a set of documents and lots of cash.
Under the agreement, which uses the pseudonyms "David Dennison" and "Peggy Peterson" to identify Trump and Clifford respectively, Clifford would be required to pay Trump $1 million for each breach. Clifford signed the agreement on the allotted line for "PP" on Oct. 28, 2016. But the space over "DD" remains blank.
And, even if the absence of a signature by the president isn't enough to void the contract, Clifford argues that Cohen has violated the terms of the deal by making multiple statements to the media. It specifically references a Feb. 13 statement to The New York Times as evidence that there was "no binding agreement in place."
Clifford also claims Cohen has continued efforts to "shut her up" and cites "bogus arbitration" initiated as recently as Feb. 27.
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