‘Mr. Trump made his statement either knowing it was false, had serious doubts about the truth of his statement, or made the statement with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity.’
The chances are that you will have heard of Stormy Daniels – especially in recent months.
The 39-year-old adult film star (real name: Stephanie Clifford) made headlines earlier this year when she came out and alleged that she had an affair with President Donald Trump in 2006, violating a reported $130,000 gag agreement and alleged threats to her life if she came forward.
In response to Trump’s rubbishing of the claims, calling it ‘a total con job’, Stormy is suing the president of the United States for defamation, claiming that she suffered damages in excess of $75,000.
Back in a ’60 Minutes’ CBS TV interview in March, Daniels opened up to Anderson Cooper about the alleged affair, recalling that it involved a spanking for Trump with a rolled up magazine, her being compared to his daughter Ivanka Trump and a suggestion that she go on Celebrity Apprentice.
One of the details she revealed in the interview involved her allegedly agreeing to tell her story to a publication in 2011 for $15,000, but the piece went unpublished after she was reportedly physically threatened to stay silent in a car park with her young daughter on her way to an exercise class.
During the CBS interview, Daniels recalled: ‘A guy walked up to me and said to me, “Leave Trump alone, forget the story” and then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said “That’s a beautiful little girl – it would be a shame if something happened to her mom” and then he was gone.’
She continued: ‘I was rattled. I remember going into the workout class. And my hands were shaking so much, I was afraid I was going to drop her.’
Trump rubbished the claims, calling the sketch of the alleged threatener ‘a total con job’. Daniels is therefore suing the president for defamation.
‘By calling the incident a “con job,” Mr. Trump’s statement would be understood to state that Ms. Clifford was fabricating the crime and the existence of the assailant, both of which are prohibited under New York law, as well as the law of numerous other states,’ Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti wrote in the lawsuit.
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‘It was apparent that Mr. Trump meant to convey that Ms. Clifford is a liar, someone who should not be trusted, that her claims about the threatening encounter are false, and that she was falsely accusing the individual depicted in the sketch of committing a crime, where no crime had been committed.’
Avenatti continued: ‘Mr. Trump made his statement either knowing it was false, had serious doubts about the truth of his statement, or made the statement with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity.’
The White House still denies that the affair happened.