Reuters Washington, DC, USA
Mar 08, 2018, 12.34 AM
President Donald Trump has already won a legal case against adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in arbitration, his spokeswoman said on Wednesday, a day after Daniels sued seeking to invalidate a "hush agreement" she signed with Trump's lawyer.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, said in the lawsuit that Trump never signed the nondisclosure agreement, designed to keep her quiet about an "intimate relationship" she said she had with him over a decade ago.
Trump's failure to sign renders the pact invalid, the lawsuit said.
Clifford has said she was taking legal action to be able to speak freely about the "intimate relationship" without fear of retribution.
According to the lawsuit, Clifford and Trump had an intimate relationship that began in the summer of 2006, not long after Trump's wife Melania gave birth to their son Barron and lasted well into 2007.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied Trump had an affair with Clifford and said arbitration over the legal case with the actress was won by the president's personal attorneys.
"The president has addressed these (allegations by Clifford) directly and made very well clear that none of these allegations are true," Sanders said at Wednesday`s White House press briefing.
"This case has already been won in arbitration and anything beyond that, I would refer you to the president's outside counsel."
A lawyer for the actress, Michael Avenatti, did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Clifford's lawsuit said Trump lawyer Michael Cohen initiated a "bogus arbitration proceeding" against her on February 27, without notifying her, as part of efforts to "shut her up" and "protect Mr Trump."
Cohen's lawyer Lawrence Rosen said in a statement on Wednesday that Cohen obtained an order from an arbitrator prohibiting Clifford from disclosing confidential information related to the nondisclosure agreement.
Cohen has previously acknowledged he paid Clifford $130,000 in October out of his own pocket to not discuss her claims of an affair with Trump.
Asked about the payment by Cohen to Clifford, Huckabee Sanders said she was not aware Trump knew of it at the time.
Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Trump attorneys John Dowd and Jay Sekulow were not immediately available for comment.