Lawyers for Donald Trump filed a lawsuit on Friday against adult film star Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) to the tune of $20 million, dropping it ahead of her planned interview with Anderson Cooper set to air on 60 Minutes next Sunday. The cartoonish amount of money is being claimed on the allegations that Daniels’ violated a confidentiality agreement at least 20 times, at $1 million per incident.
This is the first time Trump has in any way acknowledged Daniels’ claims about their alleged affair, as he has stayed suspiciously silent on Twitter and otherwise. When Trump’s personal attorney Michel Cohen filed a secret restraining order against Daniels last month, he did so through the Delaware shell company that he had previously used to pay her through.
President Trump’s lawyers filed two motions on Friday in United States District Court in California in a public legal fight that Ms. Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels, started last week. That’s when she sued to get out of an agreement that she had struck to be paid $130,000 to stay silent about an affair she alleges to have had with Mr. Trump starting in 2006.
Mr. Trump formally joined his legal team’s response to Ms. Clifford’s suit in a motion, filed Friday, to move the case from state court in Los Angeles, where Ms. Clifford filed her claim, to federal court.
Trump is being represented in the case by Charles Harder, the lawyer best known for representing Hulk Hogan in the sex tape case against Gawker that put the gossip site out of business in 2016. Harder also represented Melania Trump in a libel case against The Daily Mail that was settled last year for around $3 million.