The attorney for adult-film actress Stormy Daniels filed papers Monday in Los Angeles arguing that a lawsuit seeking to undo a non-disclosure agreement over a sexual encounter the performer claims she had with Donald Trump before he was elected president should go forward against defense objections.
Daniels’ lawyer wrote that the civil case should move ahead because Trump and his personal attorney Michael Cohen have provided no evidence to bolster their claim that a jury trial would be unfair to them. Michael Avenatti also argues that Trump’s attorney has already spoken publicly about the case and that a delay is unfair to his client.
Cohen asked U.S. District Judge S. James Otero on Friday to postpone trial of the lawsuit for three months because of what could be an overlapping criminal investigation in which Cohen’s home, office and hotel room were searched by the FBI.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is seeking to have the non-disclosure agreement she signed two years ago declared invalid. She alleges that the agreement was intended to silence her about the alleged tryst she had with Trump in 2006.
Cohen has said that as part of the pact, he paid $130,000 to Daniels out of his own pocket just before the presidential election and that he wasn’t reimbursed. Cohen is asking the judge to compel closed-door arbitration to resolve the suit.
Trump has not directly addressed Daniels’ allegations, although White House press officials have repeatedly said that Trump denies having an affair with Daniels.
Avenatti recently expanded the month-old lawsuit, adding a defamation allegation against Cohen, who has accused Daniels of lying about the alleged affair and her accusation that someone physically threatened her after she went public.
Cohen has filed papers alleging he could seek as much as $20 million from the actress for breaching the nondisclosure agreement.