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Trump Attorney: Porn Star Broke Nondisclosure Deal, Could Owe $20M


FILE - Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, poses for pictures at the end of her show at the Gossip Club in Long Island, New York, Feb. 23, 2018.

A porn actress seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement pertaining to an alleged sexual relationship with Donald Trump could owe $20 million in damages for violating that agreement, an attorney for the president said Friday in a court filing.

The filing by attorney Michael Cohen seeks to move actress Stormy Daniels' lawsuit from a state-level court to federal court in Los Angeles. It accuses Daniels of violating the agreement more than 20 times.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles last week that sought to invalidate the agreement, which she signed days before the 2016 presidential election. She has said her objective is to "set the record straight,'' and she has offered to return the $130,000 she was paid for agreeing not to discuss the alleged relationship.

Cohen has denied there was ever a relationship and said he paid the $130,000 out of his pocket. He has said neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Clifford, and that he was not reimbursed for the payment.

But Clifford's lawsuit claims the "hush agreement'' she signed is legally invalid because it was signed by Clifford and Cohen, but not by Trump.

'Intimate relationship'

The lawsuit refers to her beginning an "intimate relationship'' with Trump in 2006 that continued "well into the year 2007.'' She said the relationship included encounters in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and Beverly Hills, California.

Trump married his current wife, Melania Trump, in 2005, and their son, Barron, was born in 2006.

A separate court filing by Charles Harder, another attorney for Trump, said the president planned to join an "anticipated petition'' to have the case heard by an arbitrator.

Clifford's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, called that an attempt to have the matter decided in private arbitration, "thus hiding the truth from the public.''

Earlier Friday, Avenatti told The Associated Press his client had been “physically threatened,” but he didn’t provide details. He would not comment on whether the threats came from anyone tied to the president, the Trump campaign or the Trump Organization.

Clifford will discuss the threats during a segment on CBS's 60 Minutes that is scheduled to air later this month. Avenatti said he was confident that people would believe her after watching her interview.

"There's the act and there's the cover-up, and the American people are going to learn about both in the interview and beyond,'' the lawyer said during an interview with MSNBC's Morning Joe on Friday.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Friday that she had no knowledge of the alleged threats and hadn't spoken with the president about them.

But, she said, "obviously we take the safety and security of any person seriously'' and "certainly would condemn anyone threatening any individual.''

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