InTouch magazine then published a previously unseen interview with the now-retired porn actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, detailing the alleged sexual relationship with Trump in 2006, shortly after his wife Melania had given birth to their son Barron.
In the salacious interview, Daniels said that Trump was a pretty bland lover, that he creepily compared her to his ‘beautiful’ daughter Ivanka and that he’s absolutely petrified of sharks. “He is obsessed with sharks. Terrified of sharks. He was like, ‘I donate to all these charities and I would never donate to any charity that helps sharks. I hope all the sharks die,’” Daniels told the magazine.
Now Daniels is suing the President, claiming that the non-disclosure agreement she signed (in return for $130,000) is not, in fact, valid. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, says that the ‘hush agreement’, agreed just days before the 2016 presidential election, cannot be enforced because Trump never signed it.
The suit even has a copy of the agreement with Trump’s signature missing. (One hilarious detail of the suit is that it reveals the pseudonym used to conceal Trump’s identity; he is referred to as David Dennison, while Daniels goes by Peggy Peterson):
And if in-depth legal texts are your bag, you can read the full lawsuit here.
Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti discussed the lawsuit on Twitter, saying: “Earlier today, we filed this complaint seeking a ct [court] order voiding the alleged ‘hush’ agreement between our client S. Clifford aka Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump.”
He went on to post a series of cryptic quotes about truth and openness.
“Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” – Louis Brandeis— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 7, 2018
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” – John Adams— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 7, 2018
And in a morning show appearance today, the lawyer point-blank confirmed that his client had a sexual relationship with the President:
Not only is this embarrassing for Trump, especially among his core Christian, Republican base, but it could have more serious ramifications for the future.
MSNBC host Joy Reid pointed out that Daniels is one of the only things he refuses to discuss – and that a legal case could bring out a lot more details about the alleged affair into the open.
.@Lawrence makes a great point: Stormy Daniels is the one woman @realDonaldTrump doesn't dare contradict. In fact, his lawyer claims he "volunteered" to pay her off out of his own money. Why is that? What does she know? I guess we'll find out in discovery from her lawsuit! pic.twitter.com/vD8flGlhfC— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 7, 2018
And US Congressman Ted Lieu has even suggested that the payment to the retired porn star during the campaign could be “a felony in violation of federal election law”.
If this article is true, it shows Cohen coordinated with @realDonaldTrump or his campaign. That makes the $130k payment to Stormy Daniels a felony in violation of federal election law.— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 5, 2018
Last week @RepKathleenRice & I asked @FBI to investigate this suspicious payment. https://t.co/WbH4013apV
Whatever happens with this lawsuit, this mess is only bad news for Trump – and will be a continual thorn in his side as he struggles to limp along with the presidency.