Stormy Daniels accuses Trump lawyer of defamation; Trump cries 'fake news'

Porn actress Stormy Daniels said she was threatened to keep her silent about her alleged affair with Donald Trump. Photo: @CBSNews 
Pornographic film star Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, accused US President Donald Trump's attorney Michael Cohen of defamation and amended her lawsuit against the US President. The development comes after the details of the alleged Stormy Daniels-Donald Trump affair and the subsequent alleged attempt to cover it up were revealed in greater detail in Daniels' primetime TV interview on CBS's '60 Minutes'. Meanwhile, Cohen is challenging Daniels' unsubstantiated charge that someone with ties to Trump threatened her with harm if she went public with her story about her affair with Trump years ago. Speaking to CBS' Anderson Cooper, Daniels claimed that she had unprotected sex with Trump once in 2006.  

Cohen on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to Daniels over her claim of being threatened by a man, purportedly sent by Cohen, and having an alleged sexual affair with Trump. Further, the White House on Monday dismissed Daniels' claims of having an alleged sexual affair with Trump and being threatened to keep quiet about it. 

In a '60 Minutes' interview on CBS, Daniels had claimed that an unknown man approached her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011, when she was with her daughter, and said: "That's a beautiful little girl. It'd be a shame if something happened to her mom." She said the man told her to "leave Trump alone. Forget the story." 

Daniels also told '60 Minutes' that she had consensual sex once with Trump, now the President of the US and then a 'reality show star', and provided a few salacious details about the alleged affair. However, she provided little new evidence of the encounter. 

Days before the 2016 US presidential election that saw Trump come to power, Daniels received a $130,000 payment for her silence. She has sought to invalidate the non-disclosure agreement. Trump's attorney Cohen has said that he paid the $130,000 amount out of his own pocket, while asserting that Trump never had sex with the pornographic actress.  

The actress' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Daniels earlier this month seeking to toss out her non-disclosure agreement. Cohen, for his part, has claimed that Daniels is liable for at least $20 million for violating the agreement -- $1 million for each time she did so -- in a court filing made prior to the CBS interview. 

Here are the top 10 developments around the alleged Stormy Daniels-Donald Trump affair and the subsequent alleged attempt to cover it up:

1) Stormy Daniels sues Trump's lawyer for defamation: Hours after the CBS interview revealed salacious details about the alleged Stormy Daniels-Donald Trump affair, Daniels on Monday accused Trump's attorney Michael Cohen of defamation. Daniels has amended her lawsuit against the US President. The lawsuit now claims that Cohen defamed Daniels by suggesting that she was lying about the alleged 2006 affair with Trump, The Hill reported.  

The suit specifically points to a statement Cohen made last month: "Just because something isn't true doesn't mean that it can't cause you harm or damage."

2) Cohen sends 'cease and desist' letter to Daniels: Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is challenging Daniels' charge that someone tied to Trump threatened her with physical harm if she went public with her story about an affair with Trump years ago. 

Cohen's attorney, Brent H Blakely, demanded that Daniels or Avenatti apologise to his client for alleging intimidation. "In truth, Mr Cohen had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any such person or incident, and does not even believe that any such person exists, or that such incident ever occurred," he said, asserting that Daniels and Avenatti should "cease and desist from making any further false and defamatory statements about my client".  

3) White House says Stormy Daniels' claims are absolutely 'inaccurate': The White House on Monday dismissed Daniels's claims of having an alleged sexual affair with Trump and being threatened to keep quiet as "absolutely inaccurate and incoherent". White House spokesman Raj Shah dismissed Daniels's story, which was aired on Sunday on CBS's '60 Minutes'. 

In a statement, Shah said, "The President strongly, clearly and has consistently denied these underlying claims." Shah added that the only person "who has been inconsistent is the one making the claims". 

"President Trump doesn't believe that any of the claims that Ms Daniels made are accurate. There is nothing to corroborate her claim," he added.

ALSO READ: Trump's lawyer sends 'cease and desist' letter to Stormy Daniels amid threat claim

4) Daniels' lawyer claims he is holding back details of alleged affair: Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti acknowledged that he has no direct evidence tying the alleged 2011 parking lot threat to Trump or his lawyer. However, he said that he was holding back certain details of the alleged Stormy Daniels-Donald Trump affair, including the contents of a CD or DVD he tweeted a picture of last week. "It would make no sense for us to play our hand to this issue and we're not going to do it right now," he said on NBC's 'Today' show. 

Daniels has said in the '60 Minutes' interview that a man approached her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011, when she was with her daughter, and said: "That's a beautiful little girl. It'd be a shame if something happened to her mom." She said the man told her to "leave Trump alone. Forget the story." 

5) Daniels won't say whether she still has images, texts from alleged Trump affair: In the '60 Minutes' interview, Daniels refused to answer a question from Cooper about whether she had handed over all digital images, email messages, and text messages relating to Trump as part of the 2016 non-disclosure contract. Daniels said that her lawyer had advised her not to discuss "those things".  

Earlier, Avenatti had posted a tweet that featured a picture of a digital disc in a safe deposit box with the words "If 'a picture is worth a thousand words', how many words is this worth?" 

If “a picture is worth a thousand words,” how many words is this worth?????#60minutes #pleasedenyit #basta pic.twitter.com/eCkU0JBZaR

— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 23, 2018

6) Daniels' lawyer claims he has documents linking Trump Organization to hush payment to his client: Avenatti told '60 Minutes' that he has documents showing Cohen using his Trump Organization email address in setting up the payment and that the nondisclosure agreement was sent by FedEx to Cohen at his Trump Organization office in Trump Tower. Previously, Cohen has said neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Daniels and he was not reimbursed for the payment. 

Another lawyer for Cohen, David Schwartz, accused Daniels of lying about the affair in his own appearance on ABC's 'Good Morning America'. "The lying is all over that piece," he said, adding that the suggestion that someone associated with Trump or his organization was behind the alleged threat in the parking lot was "speculation" and "guesswork". 

Avenatti countered: "It had to have come from someone associated with Mr Trump, there is no other place for it to have come from."

7) Daniels says she was threatened to keep silent: Daniels has claimed that she was threatened in a bid to keep her silent about her alleged fling with Trump.  

Daniels told CBS that she was approached by a man in a Las Vegas parking lot after agreeing to sell her story of the alleged Stormy Daniels-Donald Trump affair for $15,000 in 2011. "I was in a parking lot, going to a fitness class with my infant daughter. Taking, you know, the seats facing backwards in the back seat, diaper bag, you know, gettin' all the stuff out," she said. "And a guy walked up on me and said to me, 'Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.' And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, 'That's a beautiful little girl. It'd be a shame if something happened to her mom,'" Daniels said.

Upen being asked whether she "took it as a direct threat" or not, Daniels said, "Absolutely."

8) 'Daniels threatened again': Avenatti complained in the course of the '60 Minutes' film that the veiled threat that was allegedly made against his client in 2011 was effectively repeated in the filing of a lawsuit earlier this month by Trump's legal team claiming $20 million in damages against Daniels with a further $1 million penalty for any further violation of the non-disclosure agreement.  

Avenatti said the suit was a form of intimidation. "You threaten someone with a $20 million lawsuit, it's a thuggish tactic. It's no different than what happened in the parking lot in Las Vegas." 

9) Alleged Stormy Daniels-Donald Trump affair took place in 2006: Daniels told CBS that she started her "intimate relationship" with Trump at Lake Tahoe in 2006 and continued it in 2007 as well. Daniels also claimed that she had a sexual encounter with the then future US President "just once with consent".  

10) Trump issues vague reply: While it is unclear whether he was referring to Daniels, Trump complained on Monday about "so much fake news".  

So much Fake News. Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate. But through it all, our country is doing great!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2018


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