7 things you're not hearing about Stormy Daniels
Suits, settlements and strip teases
By TATIANA PROPHET
Stormy Daniels filed a defamation suit against President Donald Trump in a New York court Monday, for a tweet in which he called the composite sketch of the man she described as threatening her a "con job." (Seriously? We are living in an alternate reality, folks.)
Sometimes it's really hard to follow exactly how many lawsuits and countersuits there are.
Following are items not generally being discussed in the virtual salons and coverage of an alleged 2006 affair between porn actress Stormy Daniels, aka Stephanie Clifford, and the current President of the United States, Donald Trump.
1. 'PUSSYGATE' HOOK.
Stormy Daniels was motivated to contact the media after the release of the Access Hollywood audio during the presidential campaign. The rise of Donald Trump to the top of the presidential ticket, and the release of the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape in October 2016, were listed by her attorney as factors that prompted Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, to look for ways to tell her story of what she claimed was a consensual affair between her and Trump.
According to a lawsuit filed by Clifford and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, on March 6, 2018, in Superior Court in Los Angeles, “On October 7, 2016, the Washington Post published a video, now infamously known as the Access Hollywood Tape, depicting Mr. Trump making lewd remarks about women. … Within days of the publication of the Access Hollywood Tape, several women came forward to publicly tell their personal stories about their sexual encounters with Mr. Trump. … Around this time, Ms. Clifford likewise sought to share details concerning her relationship and encounters with Mr. Trump with various media outlets.”
The suit goes on to say that Clifford’s plans came to the attention of Trump and his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, after which they arranged for a “Hush Agreement.” The hush settlement is included as Exhibit 1 at the end of the Left Coast lawsuit, which alleges the settlement was not valid because Trump never signed it, and requests a judgment that no agreement was ever formed, or “to the extent it was formed, it is void, invalid or otherwise unenforceable.”
It is the Los Angeles lawsuit in which Trump attorney Michael Cohen has pleaded the Fifth Amendment, not the Russia investigation or the probe by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York into his dealings. In pleading the 5th, he is seeking protection against incriminating himself while the federal investigation into his personal files in New York progresses in New York.
2. POTUS ADMISSION.
President Trump stated on Fox & Friends on Thursday, April 26, that Michael Cohen had represented him in a fraction of his legal cases, including “in this crazy Stormy Daniels deal.” This was in contrast to earlier this month, when Trump had responded “no” on Air Force One after a reporter asked him if he knew about the $130,000 payment made on his behalf. Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti (among others) seized on this revelation as a boon to his case to get the hush agreement nullified.
However, Cohen is named in the Los Angeles lawsuit in which Trump is also named by Daniels and her lawyer. Whether Trump actually admitted that he knew about the original agreement and payout is something to be determined under oath or in court.
3. TANGIBLE EVIDENCE SURRENDERED.
Stormy Daniels had “tangible evidence” relating to her claims about Donald Trump, such as “still photos and/or text messages,” according to the “hush agreement.”
In addition to Clifford’s silence, the monetary payment of $130,000 paid for tangible materials Clifford had in her possession, including “certain still images and/or text messages which were authored by or relate to [Trump pseudonym] ‘DD,’ and (collectively the ‘Property’, each as more fully defined below but which all are included and attached hereto as Exhibit “1” to the Side Letter Agreement).”
DD stands for David Dennison, and is used to represent Trump, who is named in a “side agreement.” PP (listed below) is the pseudonym for Clifford, also named in the side agreement, and stands for Peggy Peterson. The hush agreement was signed by Michael Cohen, Stephanie Clifford, and her then-attorney, Keith Davidson.
4. TANGIBLE EVIDENCE WITHHELD?
Both sides claimed harm in the hush agreement. Stormy Daniels had been damaged by Trump’s alleged actions, the document claims, and he in turn had been damaged by alleged threats to sell or distribute materials in her possession. “DD’s alleged actions against her, including but not limited to tort claims proximately causing injury to her person and other related claims,” states the hush agreement. “DD denies all such claims.” It is unclear whether in a settlement agreement of this nature that such language is always included, or whether both Clifford and Trump actually felt there had been damages to the other party.
Stormy Daniels had threatened to sell “and/or” distribute the evidence in her possession, according to the hush agreement. “DD claims that he has been damaged by PP’s alleged actions against him, including but not limited to the alleged threatened selling, transferring, licensing, publicly disseminating and/or exploiting the images and/or Property and/or other confidential information relating to DD. PP denies all such claims.” Stormy Daniels still has evidence in her possession, even after signing the hush agreement, according to a request for arbitration filed by Trump Organization lawyer Jill Martin on February 22, 2018, and obtained by The Wall Street Journal.
“Under the agreement, plaintiff also transferred all rights, title and interest in certain tangible property and was required to deliver that tangible property,” the filing states. “Upon information and belief, she has unlawfully retained certain tangible property in violation of the agreement.”
5. STRIPTEASE TOUR.
Stormy Daniels kicked off her “Making America Horny Again” tour at The Trophy Club in Greenville, South Carolina, on January 20, 2018, the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration, though she declined to discuss the alleged affair. Other tour stops were Detroit and Palm Beach, Fla., with several others listed though it appears the one in Satellite Beach, Fla., slated for sometime in April, had been canceled. Fort Wayne, Denver and Pittsburgh adult clubs list acts on Eventbrite through June.
6. POLITICAL OFFICE?
Stormy Daniels seriously contemplated a run for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana in 2009, with the slogan "Screwing People Honestly." She was drafted by a University of New Orleans political science student who sought to draft someone to oppose David Vitter, who served from 2005 to 2017 and at that time was caught up in the prostitution scandal involving the D.C. madam. When a researcher for Hustler magazine found Vitter’s number in the madam’s book, Vitter faced opposition for his seat. Daniels took a listening tour across Louisiana and even made it into one of Jay Leno’s monologues. She said she wanted Larry Flynt to be her campaign manager.
Daniels attended an engineering-focused magnet high school in Baton Rouge, La. Her parents had divorced when she was 4. By her own account, she came from a "really bad neighborhood," according to The New York Times. She was considered studious and ambitious. While she had offers from colleges, she began to strip tease on a lark at age 17, and quickly became a popular dancer, at the Gold Club in Baton Rouge and The Penthouse Club.
Stormy Daniels is a horse owner and an amateur equestrian. Her Irish-bred horse, Cooley Renaissance Man, has even appeared in her films, including one called "Unbridled."