The Herald (South Africa)

Lawyer ‘made payment to porn star’ with links to Trump

- Daniel Woolls

PRESIDENT Donald Trump’s personal lawyer told the New York Times on Tuesday he had paid $130 000 (R1.54-million) of his own money to a porn star who once said she had an affair with Trump.

The long-time Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, said he was not reimbursed for the payment to the actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford but who goes by the stage name of Stormy Daniels, the Times reported.

Cohen told the newspaper the payment was legal but declined to give details such as why he made it or whether Trump was aware of the payment at the time.

“Neither the Trump Organisati­on nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transactio­n with Ms Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Cohen said, according to the Times.

“The payment to Ms Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contributi­on or a campaign expenditur­e by anyone.”

US media reports have said the payment was made one month before the November 2016 election to keep the liaison quiet.

Trump was a private citizen when the 2006 sexual encounter with Clifford allegedly took place. He was married and his wife Melania had given birth to their son less than four months earlier.

The payment was first reported last month by the Wall Street Journal. Cohen’s statement to the Times marked the first time he had acknowledg­ed a role in what he termed a “private transactio­n”.

Trump, through his lawyers, and Clifford, 38, have denied anything ever went on between them.

But last month celebrity magazine In Touch published a 2011 interview with Clifford in which she expounds at length and in detail on their relationsh­ip and what she described as their “textbook generic” sex.

In that interview, Clifford said she met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in 2006 and had a sexual encounter with him then. She said she spoke with Trump on the phone or saw him for about a year.

The In Touch interview, which had not been published before, was conducted before Clifford's alleged signing of a secrecy agreement in October 2016.

Clifford has been taking advantage of her newfound notoriety.

She appeared at the Trophy Club strip club in South Carolina last month as part of a “Make America Horny Again” tour that will also reportedly take her to several states over the next few months.

In a recent appearance on late-night TV talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live – right after Trump delivered his state of the union address – Clifford deflected questions about the alleged affair and whether she had signed a non-disclosure agreement.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa