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Porn star sues Trump over non-disclosure agreement - but President denies affair

The agreement was signed days before the 2016 election.

Image: Gabe Ginsberg

Updated 9.20pm

THE LAWYER FOR porn star Stormy Daniels said today that she had a sexual relationship with Donald Trump and wants to nullify a “hush agreement” so the public can decide “who’s telling the truth”.

Los Angeles lawyer Michael Avenatti filed a lawsuit on behalf of Daniels yesterday seeking to toss out the confidential settlement she signed just days before the November 2016 election.

Avenatti made the rounds of the morning talk shows today to explain the legal move by Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Asked on NBC’s Today show if Daniels had a sexual relationship with Trump, Avenatti immediately replied “Yes”.

“She believes it’s important that the public learn the truth about what happened,” he said. “I think it’s time for her to tell her story and for the public to decide who’s telling the truth.”

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about the allegations at the daily press briefing and noted that Trump has denied them.

“The president has denied the allegations against him,” Sanders told reporters.

“The president has addressed these directly and made very well clear that none of these allegations are true,” Sanders said. “Anything beyond that I would refer you to the president’s outside counsel.”

As part of the lawsuit filed with a California court seeking to declare the non-disclosure agreement null and void, Avenatti released a copy of the settlement.

It shows that Daniels received a $130,000 payment from a company known as Essential Consultants LLC in return for her silence.

Peggy Peterson and David Dennison

Using the pseudonyms Peggy Peterson and David Dennison, Daniels and Trump were to sign the agreement, along with Essential Consultants.

But Trump never signed it, providing the basis for Avenatti’s attempt to have it thrown out and release Daniels from her obligations.

“It’s our position that the entire agreement is null and void because he did not sign it,” the lawyer told the Today show.

He said Daniels would return the $130,000 if need be.

“I think she may have to and she’s prepared to do that,” Avenatti said.

The lawsuit alleges that Daniels began an “intimate relationship” with Trump in the summer of 2006 and that it continued well into 2007.

After Trump won the Republican Party nomination for president in 2016, Daniels sought to share details of their relationship with the media, it said.

Trump’s attorney Michael 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,” the document says.

On 28 October 2016 – two weeks before the 8 November presidential election — Daniels and Essential Consultants signed the confidential settlement agreement but not Trump.

Cohen claimed last month he had paid Daniels $130,000 from his personal funds but declined to explain why he made the payment or if Trump was aware of it.

Avenatti said today he was convinced Trump was aware of the payment.

“There’s no question the president knew about it at the time,” he said.

“The idea that an attorney would go off on his own without his client’s knowledge and engage in this type of negotiation and enter into this type of agreement quite honestly I think is ludicrous,” he said.

Cohen’s comments came after the watchdog group Common Cause filed a federal complaint in January arguing that the payout may have violated campaign finance rules.

© – AFP 2018

Read: Trump steps up trade threats as economic advisor Gary Cohn resigns in protest

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