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Stormy Daniels claims President Donald Trump never signed their settlement agreement and she’s free to discuss their alleged affair at will, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Suing under her legal name, Stephanie Clifford, the adult film star claims even if Trump’s missing signature didn’t invalidate their agreement, her obligation to keep quiet ended when his attorney Michael Cohen publicly discussed it.
Both Clifford and Trump used pseudonyms in the contract, according to the complaint: Hers was Peggy Peterson and his was David Dennison.
Clifford claims she and Trump began an affair in 2006 after meeting in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and their relationship continued through 2007. When the now-infamous Access Hollywood tape created a a scandal for then-candidate Trump, Clifford says she thought about revealing their relationship — but Cohen caught wind of her plans, which resulted in a settlement and non-disparagement agreement.
“On or about October 28, 2016, only days before the election, two of the parties signed the Hush Agreement — Ms. Clifford and Mr. Cohen,” writes attorney Michael Avenatti. “Mr. Trump, however, did not sign the agreement, thus rendering it legally null and void and of no consequence.”
Clifford believes Trump purposely didn’t sign it so he could “publicly disavow” any knowledge of the agreement.
“Despite Mr. Trump’s failure to sign the Hush Agreement, Mr. Cohen proceeded to cause $130,000 to be wired to the trust account of Ms. Clifford’s attorney,” writes Avenatti. “He did so even though there was no legal agreement and thus no written nondisclosure agreement whereby Ms. Clifford was restricted from disclosing the truth about Mr. Trump.”
After details of the agreement surfaced in January, Clifford claims Cohen coerced her into signing a false statement in which she said reports of her relationship with Trump were untrue. She also notes that, while Cohen claims he paid her and the Trump campaign wasn’t involved, the attorney never publicly denied that the affair happened.
Clifford also claims Cohen filed “an improper and procedurally defective arbitration proceeding” against her in February. She is asking the court to declare the “Hush Agreement” doesn’t exist because the contract was unsigned, or, alternatively, to hold that it is unconscionable and therefore unenforceable.
Avenatti on Tuesday shared the suit on Twitter. Trump’s camp could not immediately be reached for comment.
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