Adult film star Stormy Daniels (born Stephanie Clifford) was arrested early Thursday morning at a Columbus, Ohio strip club on the grounds of allegedly touching patrons in a manner violating the state’s law.
Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, is calling the arrest a setup. We compiled everything we know about the events, including what Avenatti believes the motivation may have been.
Daniels was one of three arrested at the strip club
WSYX obtained a probable cause affidavit that claimed Daniels’ both “forced patrons’ faces into her chest” and “fondled … female patrons.”
The document also disclosed Daniels’ encounters with other patrons who revealed themselves to be officers and detectives at the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club. Daniels rose to fame in 2006 when reports alleged she had an affair with Donald Trump and made headlines again in 2016 for the $130,000 in hush money his lawyer allegedly paid her.
The club declined to comment to CNN, but Daniels’ lawyer, Avenatti, tweeted a statement on her behalf via Twitter.
Official Statement From @StormyDaniels: As a result of what happened last night, I will unfortunately be unable to go forward with tonight's scheduled performance. I deeply apologize to my fans in Columbus.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) July 12, 2018
Avenatti is calling the arrest a setup
Ohio law states that any employee who regularly appears nude or seminude, such as Daniels, is prohibited from touching any patrons (excluding family members) on the premises of “sexually oriented businesses” like strip clubs.
Avenatti tweeted calling it a “setup & politically motivated. It reeks of desperation,” he concluded. “We will fight all bogus charges.” He also wrote that Daniels was arrested “performing the same act she has performed across the nation at nearly a hundred strip clubs.”
Avenatti continues to give active updates on his Twitter account. “She was arrested for allegedly allowing a customer to touch her while on stage in a non sexual manner! Are you kidding me? They are devoting law enforcement resources to sting operations for this? There has to be higher priorities!!!” he shared right after midnight on Thursday.
Daniels’ lawyer confirmed she will plead “not guilty” to all three misdemeanor charges.
Trump has not commented on the arrest through Twitter or a statement.