Daniels amended her existing lawsuit against Trump, Washington Post reports, now also alleging Cohen defamed her when he suggested she lied about her alleged affair with Trump more than a decade ago.
Daniels added Cohen as a defendant in her pending case, the day after her ratings-magnet interview with Anderson Cooper aired on CBS’s 60 Minutes.
Cohen already had filed a response to her lawsuit, claiming he had the right to seek $20M from Daniels for breach of the NDA she signed shortly before the presidential election.
On March 6, Daniels sued Trump and the limited liability company Cohen arranged to pay her the $130K for her signature on the NDA.
Cohen has denied Trump had an affair with Daniels. In a Feb. 13 statement, he said the NDA payment was spurred by rumors of an affair, explaining, “just because something isn’t true doesn’t mean that it can’t cause you harm or damage,” and adding,“I will always protect Mr. Trump.”
The amended complaint argues that while Cohen’s statement did not directly accuse Daniels of lying about the 2006 affair, it defamed her by implying that she had lied.
In the new lawsuit suit, filed by her lawyer Michael Avenatti, Daniels claims, “It was reasonably understood that Mr. Cohen meant to convey that Ms. Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels is a liar; someone who should not be trusted, WaPo reported.
“Mr. Cohen made the statement knowing it was false, or had serious doubts about the truth of the statements,” the statement continued.
Besides accusing Cohen of defamation, Daniels also amended her claim the NDA was illegal because Trump never signed it. New complaint says the money also violates federal laws regulating campaign donations and requiring donations be reported publicly, WaPo noted..
Cohen’s $130,000 payment was, in effect, an in-kind campaign contribution that exceeded those limits; it never was reported, Daniels updated complaint alleges. That point was argued during Cooper’s 60 Minutes segment, by Trevor Potter, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, and a President George H.W. Bush appointee.