Porn star seeks to return $130K to end hush deal
LOS ANGELES >> The pornographic film actress who says she had an affair with President Donald
Trump offered Monday to return $130,000 she received from Trump’s personal attorney in 2016 for agreeing not to discuss the alleged relationship.
In exchange, the actress, Stephanie Clifford, seeks an end to her deal to keep quiet about what she says was an affair with Trump that started in 2006 and lasted for several months.
In the letter, which was sent to Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, early Monday, Clifford’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, wrote that Clifford would wire the money into an account of Trump’s choosing by Friday.
Avenatti set a deadline of noon today for Cohen to answer the offer from Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels.
Under the terms of the deal detailed in the letter, the contract ensuring Clifford’s silence would be “deemed null and void” once she returned the sum called for in her original contract.
Under Avenatti’s offer, Clifford would then be allowed to “(a) speak openly and freely about her prior relationship with the President and the attempts to silence her and (b) use and publish any text messages, photos and/or videos relating to the President that she may have in her possession, all without fear of retribution and/or legal liability for damages.”
The letter also seeks an agreement that neither Trump nor the shell company that Cohen used to pay Clifford, which he represents as a party to their October 2016 deal, would move to block the broadcast of an interview that Clifford taped with
“60 Minutes” last week.
“As we have always said, this is about a search for the truth and the ability of Ms. Clifford to tell the American people what really happened so they can make their own determination,” Avenatti said in a statement.
The offer puts the president and Cohen — who deny that Trump had an affair with Clifford — in a challenging position.
If they agree to Avenatti’s terms, Clifford can speak openly about not only the sexual relationship she claims to have had with Trump shortly after his wife, Melania, gave birth to the couple’s son, Barron, but also about what she describes as an effort to silence her with “hush money.”
The money, which Cohen has said came from his own personal funds, is the subject of complaints lodged by the group Common Cause with the Federal Election Commission and Justice Department. Common Cause argues that the payment violated campaign finance laws.
New York state’s professional standards for lawyers require that they take settlement offers directly to their clients. That means Cohen is under a legal obligation to share the proposed deal with Trump, who has kept his distance from the matter.
If they reject the offer, they could be seen as acknowledging the existence of an effort to keep Clifford silent about an affair that Cohen and the president say did not happen.