Porn actress sues to end silence on alleged Trump affair

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Michael Cohen filed papers in federal court saying President Donald Trump will assert his Fifth Amendment rights in porn actress case. Porn actress Stormy Daniels has been seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election so she can discuss the alleged relationship, which Trump denies. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

LOS ANGELES — A porn star who has said she had sex with Donald Trump filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement and “set the record straight,” her lawyer said Wednesday.

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday. She alleges that the agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election, which prevented her from discussing the alleged sexual encounters, is “null and void and of no consequence” because Trump didn’t personally sign it.

Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said on morning news shows Wednesday that she wants “to set the record straight.” He said on NBC there was “no question” Trump knew about the agreement, though he did not offer any proof.

Avenatti said Daniels wasn’t looking to profit from her story. But he told CBS: “I don’t know whether she’s going to ultimately seek payment or not

Clifford alleges that she began an “intimate relationship” with Trump in 2006 and that it continued “well into the year 2007,” according to the lawsuit . She said the relationship included encounters in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and Beverly Hills, California. Trump married his current wife, Melania Trump, in 2005.

Clifford claims she had sex with Trump once and then carried on a subsequent yearslong platonic relationship.

Previously, through a lawyer, Clifford denied the two had an affair, but Avenatti said Wednesday that was to meet the terms of the nondisclosure agreement. Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen has denied there was ever an affair.

Cohen has said he paid the porn actress $130,000 out of his own pocket as part of the agreement. He has also said that “neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly.”

The lawsuit charges that the Oct. 28, 2016 “hush agreement” is legally invalid because it was only signed by Clifford and Cohen. The agreement refers to Trump as David Dennison and Clifford as Peggy Peterson, but an attached exhibit details their true identities.

Clifford’s lawsuit also alleges that Trump and Cohen “aggressively sought to silence Ms. Clifford as part of an effort to avoid her telling the truth, thus helping to ensure he won the Presidential Election.”

“To be clear, the attempts to intimidate Ms. Clifford into silence and ‘shut her up’ in order to ‘protect Mr. Trump’ continue unabated,” the lawsuit said. Clifford alleges that as recently as last week, Trump’s attorney tried to initiate an arbitration proceeding against her.

Neither Cohen nor the White House immediately responded to requests for comment Tuesday evening.

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