Stormy Daniels is now free to talk about her alleged affair with Donald Trump.
The adult film star who claimed that she had a tryst with the married Trump just months after his wife gave birth to their son had been bound by a confidentiality agreement crafted by Trump’s lawyer in the waning days of the 2016 presidential campaign. But as Business Insider reported, Cohen has agreed to cancel the non-disclosure agreement as he prepares to head to prison for financial fraud convictions.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, had been paid $130,000 in exchange for her silence about the alleged affair. Cohen negotiated the payment, which came to pass just after the release of the Access Hollywood tape that appeared to show Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women, leading to more than two dozen women coming forward to accuse the presidential candidate of improper sexual advances.
On Friday, Cohen abruptly announced that the shell company he set up to distribute the money was releasing Daniels from the agreement.
“Today, Essential Consultants LLC and Michael Cohen have effectively put an end to the lawsuits filed against them by Stephanie Clifford aka Stormy Daniels,” Brent Blakely, Cohen’s attorney, said according to CNN. “The rescission of the Confidential Settlement Agreement will result in Ms. Clifford returning to Essential Consultants the $130,000 she received in consideration, as required by California law.”
Daniels had been fighting the confidentiality agreement in court behind lawyer Michael Avenatti, who has become a thorn in Trump’s side. On Friday, the lawyer claimed that the abrupt move to cancel the hush money agreement was really a plot to prevent him from deposing both Cohen and Trump.
Avenatti has opposed Trump on a number of other fronts, frequently attacking the president on Twitter, offering to represent families separated by Trump’s immigration policy, and even flirting with the idea of running for president in 2020 to oppose Trump.
Stormy Daniels has also capitalized off the attention she received from the allegations of an affair with Trump, giving interviews with a number of national news outlets and even going on a nationwide tour of strip clubs.
Stormy Daniels was not the only woman to claim she had an affair with Donald Trump just after the birth of his son. Playboy model Karen McDougal also claims to have had an affair with Trump during that time and also received a hush money payment to keep quiet about it.