Stormy Daniels escalated her fight against President Donald Trump on Monday, filing a complaint that accused his lawyer of defamation.
Daniels added the lawyer, Michael Cohen, as a defendant in her existing lawsuit against Trump a day after she appeared on “60 Minutes“ in a widely watched interview.
Daniels, an adult film actress whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. In October 2016, shortly before the election, she signed a contract that awarded her $130,000 in exchange for her silence about the affair.
Cohen, who arranged and signed the contract, has said that he used his own money to pay Daniels and that Trump was unaware of the agreement.
In mid-February, Cohen issued a written statement to the media, saying “just because something isn’t true doesn’t mean that it can’t cause you harm or damage. I will always protect Mr. Trump.”
In the court filing, Daniels said “it was reasonably understood“ that the statement was about her, and “it was reasonably understood Mr. Cohen meant to convey that Ms. Clifford is a liar, someone who should not be trusted, and that her claims about her relationship with Mr. Trump is 'something [that] isn’t true.'”
The statement exposed her to “hatred, contempt, ridicule, and shame, and discouraged others from associating or dealing with her,” the court filing claims.
David Schwartz, a lawyer for Cohen, dismissed the allegation as “completely frivolous.”
Asked Monday about the Daniels interview that aired the previous night, White House spokesman Raj Shah told reporters that Trump “strongly, clearly, and has consistently denied these underlying claims.”