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Stormy Daniels is suing Trump, claiming the “hush agreement” is void

The adult film star alleges Donald Trump — alias “David Dennison” — never actually signed it.

Stormy Daniels Hosts Super Bowl Party At Sapphire Las Vegas Gentlemen's Club Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Jen Kirby is a senior foreign and national security reporter at Vox, where she covers global instability.

Adult film star Stormy Daniels is now suing President Donald Trump, saying the nondisclosure agreement about their alleged 2006 affair is void because Trump never signed it.

An attorney for Daniels — real name Stephanie Clifford — filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, NBC News first reported. It alleges Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen, but not Trump himself, signed his name to the “hush agreement,” which paid Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her silence about her tryst with Trump.

Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, posted a copy of what appears to be the court filing online. The suit alleges that Daniels and Trump entered into this agreement under pseudonyms: Daniels as “Peggy Peterson” and Trump as “David Dennison.” But the line where Dennison, a.k.a. Trump, was supposed to sign is blank:

The lawsuit also claims that in the wake of the Access Hollywood tape, when multiple other women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Trump, Daniels wanted to tell her story publicly. That got the attention of the Trump campaign, the lawsuit says, and Cohen “aggressively sought to silence Ms. Clifford [Daniels] as part of an effort to avoid her telling the truth, thus helping to ensure he won the Presidential Election.” Daniels entered into the “hush agreement” on October 28, just days before the 2016 election.

This lawsuit piles onto the slow-burning saga, which began in earnest after the Wall Street Journal reported in January that Trump’s attorney Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in hush money a month before the 2016 presidential election to cover up an affair Trump had with the porn actress in 2006 at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. Shortly after that, In Touch magazine published a 2011 interview with Daniels that included some salacious details about this alleged rendezvous with Trump.

Trump has denied the affair, and Daniels herself has been pretty wishy-washy on the details. She denied the affair before an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live and then seemed to cast doubt on her own denial on the show.

But in the lawsuit, Daniels doesn’t just claim she had a sexual encounter with Trump — she says they carried on an affair until 2007, including a “meeting” with Trump at a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Cohen admitted he paid Daniels $130,000, telling the New York Times he did so with his own money and wasn’t reimbursed by the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign. He made the acknowledgment, in part, because the transaction had been scrutinized by watchdog groups that pointed out the transaction as a possible campaign finance violation.

The full lawsuit is below.

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