President Donald Trump’s lawyer is trying to silence adult-film star Stormy Daniels, obtaining a secret restraining order in a private arbitration proceeding and warning that she will face penalties if she publicly discusses a relationship with the president, NBC News has learned.
The new pressure on Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, comes a day after she filed a lawsuit in a Los Angeles court alleging that a nondisclosure agreement she made to keep quiet about an “intimate” relationship with Trump is invalid because he never signed it.
Tuesday’s lawsuit says that Trump attorney Michael Cohen — who brokered the agreement with Clifford during the presidential campaign — attempted to “intimidate” Clifford and “shut her up” by initiating what it calls a “bogus arbitration proceeding” against her in Los Angeles on Feb. 27.
On that day, Cohen obtained a temporary restraining order against Clifford from the private arbitrator, a retired judge, which bars her from disclosing “confidential information” related to the nondisclosure agreement signed in October 2016, according to a copy of the order obtained by NBC News.
On Feb. 28, Cohen emailed the restraining order to Clifford’s former attorney, Keith Davidson. “The document itself is to remain confidential and not to be disclosed to anyone as per the terms of the judge’s order,” the email, obtained by NBC News, said.
Reached for comment late Wednesday afternoon, Clifford’s current attorney, Michael Avenatti, said Cohen, through his own attorney, Lawrence Rosen, has made further attempts to enforce the order and caution Clifford that she is subject to damages if she talks about Trump.
“Earlier today, Mr. Cohen through his attorney, Mr. Rosen, further threatened my client in an effort to prevent her from telling the truth about what really happened,” Avenatti said. “We do not take kindly to these threats, nor we will be intimidated.”