Stormy Daniels (whose real name is Stephanie Clifford) is an adult film actress and director who claims she was paid to keep silent about an extramarital affair she had with President Trump. Daniels says that, shortly before the launch of the 2016 presidential election campaign, she accepted $130,000 from Trump’s attorney to stay quiet. She claims she only signed the nondisclosure agreement after being pressured by her former lawyer and business manager. Now, Daniels is coming forward with her story, arguing that the agreement is null and void because Trump did not sign the document.
Stormy Daniels Claims Her Agreement with Trump is Invalid
Daniels claims she was threatened by Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, after she attempted to tell a tabloid magazine about the affair and that Cohen also threatened to sue the magazine to stop publication. Trump’s lawyer denies this and has countersued, claiming that she owes Trump $20 million – $1 million for each alleged breach of the confidentiality clause. The court will likely rule that the damage amount is unenforceable because it seems more like a penalty than a realistic estimation of damages.
In her federal lawsuit, Daniels also alleges that the agreement runs afoul of federal campaign finance law. Because the terms of the agreement aimed to hide information regarding Trump from voters to prevent diminishing his chances of getting elected, she argues that it functioned as a campaign contribution beyond the limit for individual donors.
Karen McDougal Claims Trump Was Involved in Media Silencing
Another woman has also come forward, alleging that she too signed a nondisclosure agreement that forced her to keep quiet regarding her affair with Trump. Former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal claims that American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer, paid her $150,000 for the exclusive rights to her story. However, the company did not publish any stories regarding the affair. McDougal claims that Cohen was involved in silencing the story. The White House has issued a statement denying the affairs and any involvement in threats against either of the women.
Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements May Decrease in the Future
Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements exist to protect both the reputation of the alleged harasser and the identity of the alleged victim. However, sometimes harassers use these “gag orders” as a mechanism for keeping past victims quiet while continuing their pattern of abuse without retribution. Congress appears to be limiting the use of such orders through a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provision that does not allow tax deductions for payments made to harassment victims or for legal payments in association with the confidentiality agreement.
Marlton Sexual Harassment Lawyers at McOmber & McOmber, P.C. Provide Experienced Representation to Sexual Harassment VictimsNew Jersey workers are protected from workplace sexual harassment by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and other federal statutes. If you were the victim of sexual harassment or you are seeking guidance regarding appropriate workplace policies, contact a skilled Marlton sexual harassment lawyer at McOmber & McOmber, P.C. Our firm is dedicated to holding harassers accountable and helping employers create work environments free from all forms of discrimination. We represent clients throughout New Jersey, including those in Red Bank, Marlton, Middletown and Cherry Hill. Contact us online or call us at 856-985-9800 or 732-842-6500 for a free, confidential consultation.