One of the largest scandals during Mr. Trump’s presidency has been the revelation that he had an affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels shortly after his son Barron was born. Daniels then sued Trump claiming that she had an intimate affair with him in 2006-2007, and that a nondisclosure agreement created before the 2016 election is invalid.
On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that Daniels claimed that her attorney Michael Avenatti sued Donald Trump for defaming the pornographic film star against her wishes. Daniels also said that Avenatti started a new fundraising site to raise money for her legal expenses without telling her.
Daniels is now considering dropping Avenatti as her lawyer. In a full statement she said:
‘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. 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.’
She went on to say:
‘I haven’t decided yet what to do about legal representation moving forward. Michael has been a great advocate in many ways. I’m tremendously grateful to him for aggressively representing me in my fight to regain my voice. But in other ways Michael has not treated me with the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client. He has spoken on my behalf without my approval. He filed a defamation case against Donald Trump against my wishes. He repeatedly refused to tell me how my legal defense fund was being spent. Now he has launched a new crowdfunding campaign using my face and name without my permission and attributing words to me that I never wrote or said. I’m deeply grateful to my supporters and they deserve to know their money is being spent responsibly. I don’t want to hurt Michael, but it’s time to set the record straight. The truth has always been my greatest ally.’
She concluded by saying:
‘My goal is the same as it has always been—to stand up for myself and take back my voice after being bullied and intimidated by President Trump and his minions. One way or another I’m going to continue in that fight, and I want everyone who has stood by me to know how profoundly grateful I am for their support.’
Avenatti responded denying her claims:
‘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. 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. The most recent campaign was simply a refresh of the prior campaign, designed to help defray some of Stormy’s expenses.’
If Avenatti did indeed sue Trump against Daniels’ wishes, he could face serious problems. Gillers, a New York University Law School professor and expert on legal ethics said:
‘If he filed the case with her name when it was clear that she told him not to, then he could be sued for that. He could be sued for malpractice. If true, she has a malpractice case against him. I emphasize if true. And if true, he would be subject to discipline but not as serious as disbarment.’
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube