US Actress, Stormy Daniels Arrested Amid Trump Legal Tussle

Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels speaks US Federal Court with her lawyer Michael Avenatti (R) on April 16, 2018, in Lower Manhattan, New York. EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ / AFP

Adult film star Stormy Daniels, who is locked in a court battle with President Donald Trump over their alleged affair, was arrested late Wednesday while performing at a strip club after allegedly “fondling” patrons, police said.

In what her lawyer dubbed a “politically motivated” set-up, Daniels was arrested without incident at the Sirens club in Columbus, Ohio after officers accused her of knowingly touching club patrons “in a specified anatomical area.”

According to an incident report published online by a local news outlet, two police detectives and an officer approached Daniels, who was topless and wearing a G-string, onstage after she was seen “using her bare breasts to smack the patrons” and “fondling the breasts of the female patrons.”

Daniels allegedly began holding her breasts against one female detective’s face, before then “forcing” the face of a male officer into her chest and “smacking his face with her bare breasts.”

She performed the same acts on a male officer after “fondling” his buttock and chest.

Ohio’s Community Defense Act prohibits touching a nude or semi-nude dancer in a club, besides members of the dancer’s immediate family.

Another officer in the back of the club went to get backup before arresting Daniels, who was released on bond early Thursday.

“We will vehemently contest all charges,” her lawyer Michael Avenatti tweeted, saying Daniels would plead not guilty to three misdemeanor charges.

“This was a setup & politically motivated. It reeks of desperation. We will fight all bogus charges,” Avenatti said.

“They are devoting law enforcement resources to sting operations for this? There has to be higher priorities!!!”

Daniels’ arraignment is scheduled for Friday at Ohio’s Franklin County Municipal Court. She canceled a Thursday night performance in Columbus.

Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — is suing Trump and his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to nullify a 2016 non-disclosure agreement preventing her from speaking out about the affair she says she had with Trump in 2006.

Just days before the 2016 election, Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her silence.

She is hoping to have the non-disclosure agreement thrown out on the grounds that it is not valid because Trump never signed it.

Through White House officials, Trump has denied the affair, although Cohen has admitted paying Daniels $130,000 as part of the agreement. He initially said he used his own money to pay Daniels and was not reimbursed by Trump.

However, Trump — who initially denied knowledge of the payment — subsequently conceded that Cohen was in fact reimbursed.

AFP

Trump Admits Lawyer Represented Him In ‘Stormy Daniels Deal’

FILE PHOTO United States President, Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Credit: Olivier Douliery / AFP

 

United States’ President, Donald Trump, acknowledged on Thursday that his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, represented him in a “deal” involving actress Stormy Daniels.

Trump had previously denied knowledge of a $130,000 payment Cohen made to Daniels that she claims was to prevent her from talking about their alleged 2006 affair.

Trump, in a wide-ranging telephone interview with “Fox and Friends,” admitted for the first time that Cohen represented him in a “deal” with Daniels, who has filed a lawsuit seeking to have the “hush agreement” negotiated by Cohen thrown out.

Trump said Cohen represented him on only a “tiny, tiny little fraction” of his “overall legal work.”

“He represents me like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal, he represented me,” Trump said.

“And, you know, from what I see, he did absolutely nothing wrong,” Trump said. “There were no campaign funds going into this.”

Asked by reporters on Air Force One earlier this month about the payment to Daniels, Trump had said he was not aware of it.

“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael,” he said.

 ‘Michael is a good person’ 

The payment to Daniels was made just days before the November 2016 presidential election and there have been suggestions it may have been a violation of campaign finance laws.

Cohen’s New York home and office were raided by the FBI this month as part of an unspecified criminal investigation and Trump sought in the “Fox and Friends” interview to distance himself from his longtime personal attorney.

“Michael is a good person,” Trump said. “He’s really a businessman, fairly big business as I understand it.

“They’re looking at something having to do with his business,” Trump said. “I have nothing to do with his business, I can tell you.

“I have many attorneys,” Trump went on. “Sadly I have so many attorneys you wouldn’t even believe it.”

Trump was also asked about Cohen’s decision to plead the Fifth Amendment in a case brought by Daniels over the hush agreement.

The Fifth Amendment grants someone the constitutional right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination.

“His lawyers probably told him to do that,” Trump said. “But I’m not involved and I’ve been told I’m not involved.”

In the Daniels case in Los Angeles, Cohen is asking to delay proceedings for 90 days, arguing that any statements he might make could affect the criminal investigation into his business dealings in New York.

AFP