Trials & Litigation

Stormy Daniels files suit claiming Trump defamed her in a tweet

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Stormy Daniels at a press conference on April 16 after leaving federal court in New York./JStone (

Porn star Stormy Daniels has filed a new lawsuit that claims President Donald Trump defamed her in a tweet that belittled her sketch of a man who allegedly threatened her as “a total con job.”

Daniels sued Trump on Monday in federal court in Manhattan, report the New York Times, Courthouse News Service, the Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed News and the Washington Post.

The suit says Daniels “began an intimate relationship” with Trump in the summer of 2006 in Lake Tahoe. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, had agreed to cooperate with an In Touch magazine article on Trump in May 2011. Daniels was approached and threatened a few weeks later by a man in a Las Vegas parking lot regarding her intent to tell her story about Trump, the suit says.

The man reportedly said, “Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.” Then he looked at Daniels’ daughter in the back seat and allegedly said, “That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.”

The magazine never ran the story. The suit cites a belief that it chose not to run the article after it contacted Trump for comment and was threatened by Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Daniels released a sketch of the man said to have threatened her in April. Trump responded with this April 18 tweet: “A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!”

Trump’s tweet “falsely attacks the veracity of Ms. Clifford’s account of the threatening incident,” the suit says. “Trump knew that his false, disparaging statement would be read by people around the world, as well as widely reported, and that Ms. Clifford would be subjected to threats of violence, economic harm, and reputational damage as a result.”

Daniels has also sued Cohen in a bid to invalidate her confidentiality agreement in which she received $130,000 from Trump’s lawyer. The lawsuit is on hold because of the overlap with a criminal probe of Cohen.

The new suit is Clifford v. Trump.

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