Trump’s Tweet About Stormy Daniels Backfired, and Now She’s Suing for Defamation

Read the lawsuit here.

Olivier Doulier/ZUMA

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Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who claims she had a sexual relationship with President Donald Trump, filed a new lawsuit Monday accusing the president of making false statements that “denigrate and attack” her character. 

The lawsuit specifically cites an April 18 tweet in which Trump referred to Daniels’ previous claims that a man physically threatened her in 2011 to stop her from publicly discussing her affair with Trump. In the tweet, Trump called those allegations a “total con job.” According to the lawsuit, Trump’s tweet attempted to portray Daniels as a “liar.” Daniels is already seeking a similar defamation judgment against Michael Cohen, the president’s longtime personal lawyer who paid Daniels $130,000 to keep her from publicly discussing the affair.

“Mr. Trump’s defamatory statement was false because Ms. Clifford was in fact threatened in 2011 as she has recounted and the sketch was the result of her recollection regarding the appearance of the assailant,” the lawsuit states. The suit argues that Trump’s tweet exposed Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, to “hatred, contempt, ridicule, and shame.”

The lawsuit adds to an ongoing legal challenge by Daniels that seeks to release her from a legal agreement preventing her from publicly discussing her alleged sexual relationship with Trump. ABC News reports that the Trump campaign has spent $228,000 to pay for some of Cohen’s legal fees, an arrangement that could violate campaign finance laws. Earlier this month, the FBI raided Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room and seized documents, some of which related to Cohen’s $130,000 payment to keep Daniels from speaking out about the affair.

The complaint filed Monday is below.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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