Stormy Daniels Wants the Ability to Discuss Her Relationship With Trump, But Here’s Why the Court Temporarily Denied her Lawsuit

Stormy Daniels wants to be able to talk publicly about her alleged relationship with President Donald Trump. However, a federal judge in Los Angeles has denied her request to restart her lawsuit against the president and his lawyer Michael Cohen.

The adult film star claims she suffered “hatred, contempt, ridicule, and shame” due to a statement made by Cohen in February. The statement suggested Daniels had been lying about a $130,000 payment he made to silence her before the 2016 presidential election.

What her lawsuit seeks

Stormy Daniels in Las Vegas at an awards show

Stormy Daniels | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In her lawsuit, Daniels seeks to void a non-disclosure agreement preventing her from discussing the alleged affair. U.S. District Judge James Otero had paused the trial in April, citing a possible overlap between it and a separate, federal criminal investigation. That separate case could result in Cohen’s indictment, the judge said.

Daniels was seeking to restart the trial sooner than after the 90-day mark. However, Otero denied her request. The amount of media attention surrounding the case was not a sufficient reason to reconsider the 90-day stay imposed in April, he ruled on June 19, 2018.

The affair

The adult film actress said she and Trump began an affair soon after his wife Melania Trump gave birth to the couple’s son Barron in 2006. (Trump has denied the claim.) She also alleged the real estate mogul promised to get her a spot on his reality TV Show The Apprentice.

In a 2011 In Touch interview, Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, said she and Trump had sex at a celebrity golf tournament. The publication called Trump for a comment and was then threatened with a lawsuit, 60 Minutes reported. As a result, it did not run the story and did not pay Daniels the $15,000 it had offered her for the interview.

In Touch did finally publish the interview in January 2018.

Daniels’ 60 Minutes interview

Stormy Daniels and Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes

Stormy Daniels and Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes | CBS

In March 2018, Daniels told 60 Minutes’ Anderson Cooper she and Trump had sex once. She said an unknown man threatened her in 2011 when out with her infant daughter.

Daniels recounted the man saying, “Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.” (The story was the one she had told in the In Touch interview.) In addition, he said she had a “beautiful little girl” and “It would be a shame if something happened to her mom,” Daniels alleged. As a result, she decided to sign the non-disclosure agreement.

Why she may owe millions

Before Daniels appeared on 60 Minutes, Trump’s legal team had filed a complaint claiming the actress had violated the non-disclosure agreement at least 20 times. The lawsuit requested $1 million per infraction.

Daniels said in the 60 Minutes interview she believes the public has a right to hear her story, despite the threatened legal damages.

Next steps

Lawyer Michael Avenatti with Stormy Daniels

Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said the judge’s latest ruling is not unexpected. “We intend on appealing to the Ninth Circuit [Court of Appeals] as we need to proceed with this case as quickly as possible,” he wrote.

In addition to her legal battles, Daniels has embarked on some new career ventures. This month, she released a gender-neutral perfume called “Truth,” described as a “sensual pheromone infused” fragrance. She also is creating a high-end lingerie line, to launch when her cross-country tour wraps up.

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