Stormy Daniels threatened over Trump affair claims: Lawyer

Porn actress Stormy Daniels with Mr Anderson Cooper of CBS' 60 Minutes. She told 60 Minutes she and Mr Trump had had sexual relations only once, but she had seen him on other occasions and he had kept in touch with her.
Porn actress Stormy Daniels with Mr Anderson Cooper of CBS' 60 Minutes. She told 60 Minutes she and Mr Trump had had sexual relations only once, but she had seen him on other occasions and he had kept in touch with her.PHOTO: REUTERS
Adult film star Stormy Daniels sued Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, for defamation as fallout over her bombshell interview with CBS's 60 Minutes continues.

WASHINGTON • Porn actress Stormy Daniels' attorney said yesterday his client receives threats on a "near-hourly basis" - the morning after she broke her silence on an alleged affair with US President Donald Trump.

Ms Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, told CBS' 60 Minutes on Sunday evening that she was on her way to a fitness class with her child when an unknown man approached her in a Las Vegas parking lot, after she agreed to sell her story for US$15,000 in 2011.

"A guy walked up on me and said to me, 'Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.' And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, 'That's a beautiful little girl. It'd be a shame if something happened to her mum,'" she said.

Ms Daniels sued the President on March 6, stating that Mr Trump never signed an agreement for her to keep quiet about an "intimate" relationship between them. White House aides did not respond immediately to requests for comment after the interview aired.

When asked by CBS if he is worried for her safety, her lawyer Michael Avenatti replied: "Absolutely.

"She receives threats on a near-hourly basis. Now, we don't have anything tying those to Mr Cohen or Mr Trump, to be clear, but she's certainly scared for her safety and the safety of her family," he said, referring to Mr Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

SAFETY CONCERNS

She receives threats on a near-hourly basis. Now, we don't have anything tying those to Mr Cohen or Mr Trump, to be clear, but she's certainly scared for her safety and the safety of her family.

MR MICHAEL AVENATTI, lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels.

Doing the rounds on the morning talk shows, Mr Avenatti told CNN it was "fairly obvious" the threat in Las Vegas came from "someone associated with the Trump Organisation".

Ms Daniels' appearance represented back-to-back trouble for Mr Trump after an interview broadcast last week on CNN with former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who described a 10-month-long affair with Mr Trump starting in 2006.

Mr Trump would have been married to his wife, Melania, during both the alleged extramarital relationships.

Ms Daniels told 60 Minutes she and Mr Trump had had sexual relations only once, but that she had seen him on other occasions and he had kept in touch with her.

She said she was not attracted to Mr Trump, who was 60 at the time. Ms Daniels was 27 in 2006.

The White House has denied the affair, although Mr Cohen said he paid her US$130,000 (S$170,312) of his own money during the 2016 presidential election campaign. The payment could pose a legal problem.

Watchdog groups have filed complaints with the Department of Justice and Federal Election Commission, saying that it may have violated campaign finance law by exceeding the limit on the size of a contribution.

Mr Cohen, who has denied that there was an affair, has not explained why he made the payment or said whether Mr Trump was aware of it. He reportedly sent Mr Avenatti and Ms Daniels a cease and desist order late Sunday after the highly anticipated CBS interview aired.

Asked about the letter, Mr Avenatti said, "This is a man who has a history of thuggish behaviour, using intimidation tactics trying to step on little people."

"If she's not telling the truth, let the President take to the podium and call her a liar," he later told NBC. "Let the President come forward and say it never happened. There is a reason why this US$130,000 was paid."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2018, with the headline 'Stormy Daniels threatened over Trump affair claims: Lawyer'. Print Edition | Subscribe