Pornstar Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, filed a lawsuit against United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday declaring that a prior confidentiality agreement between the two has no merit because it is not signed by Trump.
Daniels is referred to as Peggy Peterson, while the president’s moniker is David Dennison in the agreement. Trump chose not to sign the agreement in order to provide the opportunity to deny knowledge of the agreement if ever needed.
Daniels accepted $130,000 from Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen who says she used his own money to pay Daniels. The revelation by Cohen is said by Daniels’ lawyers to mean that there is no binding agreement between the two parties.
Lawyers for Daniels argue that even if their client was obligated contractually by the agreement the terms were breached when Cohen commented publicly on the matter.
Cohen, while speaking to the New York Times on February 13, said that neither the Trump Organization or members of the Trump administration had paid back the money to him that he had given Daniels. Cohen did not say whether Trump or anyone else had repaid him however and has been on record with complaints that he had not been reimbursed.
The suit points out that Cohen made no denials of a sexual relationship that took place between Trump and Daniels because to do so would have been to make false statements.
Attorneys for Daniels point to what they term as a “bogus arbitration proceeding” that was held at the end of February without Daniels’ knowledge as evidence of an ongoing attempt by Cohen to gain her silence by intimidation. The result of the hearing was Cohen obtaining a restraining order against Daniels that prohibits the adult film star from providing details of her relationship with the president or filing a lawsuit over the matter.
Michael Avenatti, a lawyer that has recently taken up the cause of Daniels, says that he does not the order that was granted at the February 27th hearing to be a valid one.
The suit includes a copy of the original contract that was signed by Daniels and Michael Cohen, who signed as a representative of Essential Consultants, the company established by Cohen to facilitate the money transfer to Daniels.
George Cohen, a professor specializing in legal contracts, says that the legal issue is whether or not the contract was to be made valid only through a signature from both parties. And if so, did the signing of the agreement by Essential Consultants happen while the company acted as an agent of President Trump.