Stormy Daniels, the famous porn actress who says she had an affair with President Trump in 2011, has been represented in a wide variety of legal actions for most of this year by attorney Michael Avenatti. Avenatti has, in turn, parlayed his work for Daniels into nearly endless cable news appearances and even talk of a 2020 presidential campaign.
But now, in a new interview, Daniels has spoken out against some of the actions taken by Avenatti on her behalf.
In a statement to the Daily Beast published Wednesday Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, says that Avenatti filed a defamation suit against the president against her wishes- and has also launched a new crowdfunding effort on Daniels’ behalf without her permission.
“For months I’ve asked Michael Avenatti to give me accounting information about the fund my supporters so generously donated to for my safety and legal defense,” Daniels said in the statement.
“He has repeatedly ignored those requests. Days ago I demanded again, repeatedly, that he tell me how the money was being spent and how much was left. Instead of answering me, without my permission or even my knowledge Michael launched another crowdfunding campaign to raise money on my behalf. I learned about it on Twitter.”
Daniels stopped short of announcing that she was dropping Avenatti as her lawyer, and she thanked Avenatti for his advocacy on her behalf thus far. However, she did state that “I haven’t decided yet what to do about legal representation moving forward.”
“I don’t want to hurt Michael, but it’s time to set the record straight. The truth has always been my greatest ally.” - Stormy Daniels https://t.co/c6itzkou3k— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) November 28, 2018
“I am and have always been Stormy’s biggest champion. I have personally sacrificed an enormous amount of money, time and energy toward assisting her because I believe in her,” Avenatti said in a statement in reply to what Daniels said.
“I have always been an open book with Stormy as to all aspects of her cases and she knows that. The retention agreement Stormy signed back in February provided that she would pay me $100.00 and that any and all other monies raised via a legal fund would go toward my legal fees and costs. Instead, the vast majority of the money raised has gone toward her security expenses and similar other expenses.”
Avenatti was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of domestic violence against a girlfriend; the lawyer has denied the charges and claimed a setup by his enemies, including political gadfly Jacob Wohl. No charges were filed. Daniels had said at the time that she would drop Avenatti as her lawyer if the violence allegations proved true.