Adult film star Stormy Daniels sued her former attorney Wednesday, accusing him of acting as a “puppet” for President Trump and his personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court accuses Cohen and Keith Davidson of colluding to have Daniels publicly refute her claim that she had a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006.
Daniels is fighting to invalidate a confidentiality agreement she signed days before the 2016 presidential election.
“Starting in January 2018 at the latest, Defendants Davidson and Cohen acted in concert to benefit not [Daniels], but … Mr. Trump,” reads the complaint by Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
The complaint includes text messages sent between Davidson and Cohen on Jan. 17 of this year, when the complaint says Cohen became aware of an In Touch magazine article detailing Daniels’ claims.
“I have her tentatively scheduled for Hannity tonight,” one text from Cohen reads, apparently referring to Daniels. “Call me after your trial.”
Davidson responds: “She cannot [do it] today … I’m trying to get her to commit for tomorrow.”
Cohen initially responds: “This is no good. We need her as by doing tomorrow you just create another news cycle instead of putting an end to this one.” An hour later, Cohen texts: “Let’s forget tonight. They would rather tomorrow so they can promote the heck out of the show.”
More than two hours later, Cohen texts Davidson: “Keith, The wise men all believe the story is dying and don’t think it’s smart for her to do any interviews. Let her do her thing but no interviews at all with anyone.”
When Davidson answers, “100%,” Cohen responds: “Thanks, pal.”
Daniels’ complaint alleges: “The ‘wise men’ referred to above included Mr. Trump.”
“These text messages show that the prior denials by Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen relating to what Mr. Trump knew and about the honesty of my client were absolute lies,” Daniels’ current attorney, Michael Avenatti, told Fox News in an email. “There was a significant coverup here as part of an attempt to deceive the American people and Mrs. Trump and we intend on getting to the bottom of it.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Cohen met with first lady Melania Trump in March to tell her Daniels would disclose the alleged 2006 tryst in a lawsuit after he was tipped off by Davidson that the adult-film star had hired another attorney.
Trump and Cohen have publicly denied Daniels’ allegations that she had sex with Trump just months after Melania gave birth to their son.
Avenatti said on Twitter that Davidson was “a disgrace to the profession.” He also referenced a 2012 case in which the FBI investigated Davidson over extortion claims involving a sex tape of pro wrestler Hulk Hogan. Davidson was not charged in that matter.
In a statement, a spokesman for Davidson said he sees the lawsuit as a “full and complete waiver of the attorney-client privilege,” which will allow him to “rebut the false narrative.”
“This outrageously frivolous lawsuit is yet another desperate attempt by Michael Avenatti to continue his ‘publicity tour,’ as well as divert attention from the recent allegations against him relating to bankruptcy proceedings and the failure to withhold millions of federal employee taxes,” said Davidson’s spokesman, Dave Wedge.
Last month, a federal judge in California ordered a law firm linked to Avenatti to pay $10 million to a lawyer who claimed that the firm had misstated its profits and that he was owed millions. During the court hearing, a Justice Department lawyer said Avenatti’s firm also owes back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.