Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress at the center of a variety of legal issues surrounding Donald Trump, has filed a defamation lawsuit against the 45th president, the latest legal salvo in an ongoing war between the two, The Guardian is reporting.
This particular round of legal maneuvering involves a sketch and a tweet.
Daniels (real name: Stephanie Clifford), as you are no-doubt aware, has claimed that she and Trump had an affair back in 2006 and that ten years later, on the eve of the 2016 presidential election, Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen paid her $130,000 to keep quiet about it.
Daniels has already sued to have that agreement thrown out, and that particular case is currently making its way through the courts.
Though limited about what she can say about the alleged affair by the non-disclosure agreement she’s trying to have ruled invalid, Daniels has been speaking obliquely about the alleged affair for months. And in a March interview with 60 Minutes‘ Anderson Cooper, as CNN reported at the time, Daniels claimed that she was threatened.
Specifically, she says, the threat came in May 2011, not long after she had arranged to sell her story to a magazine for $15,000. She was on her way to a fitness class, she says, when a man pulled up to her and threatened her.
“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.’ And then he was gone.”
She then produced a police sketch of her alleged assailant.
Stormy Daniels identified Willem Dafoe in the sketch of her “intimidator.” pic.twitter.com/6LtPKvLuXS
— Georgieann (@Georgieanne_CA) April 30, 2018
Earlier this month, Trump weighed in on the sketch.
A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)! https://t.co/9Is7mHBFda
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018
Daniels, through her attorney, Michael Avenatti, claims that that particular tweet amounts to an act of defamation.
In her lawsuit, Daniels claims that the tweet was “false and defamatory,” that Trump knew it was false, that Trump knew that it would be read by millions of people, and that since the tweet, she has been subjected to “death threats and other threats of physical violence.”
Avenatti claims that the suit sends a message to Trump.
“We intend on teaching Mr. Trump that you cannot simply make things up about someone and disseminate them without serious consequences.”
As of this writing, it is not clear what kinds of damages Daniels is seeking in the suit.