February 15, 2018 10:18
Stormy Daniels, the adult movie star linked to U.S. President Donald Trump, is now free to tell her story, after his lawyer admitted paying her hush money, her manager said.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is no longer bound by a non-disclosure contract after attorney Michael Cohen confirmed he paid the pornographic actress $130,000 before the 2016 presidential election, manager Gina Rodriguez told The Associated Press Wednesday. "Everything is off now, and Stormy is going to tell her story," Rodriguez said.
Cohen told The New York Times Tuesday that neither the Trump Organization, the holding company for all of Trump's business ventures, nor the Trump campaign was involved in the transaction. He added he was not compensated for the payment "either directly or indirectly."
"In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford," Cohen said in a statement.
Cohen, who said he has served as Trump's lawyer for more than a decade, made it clear he is more committed than ever to protecting the interests of his client. "Just because something isn't true doesn't mean that it can't cause you harm or damage. I will always protect Mr. Trump," he said.
Cohen did not say whether Trump was aware of the payment or why he made the payment. He has previously denied that Trump had an affair with Clifford.
The Wall Street Journal initially reported in January that Clifford was paid in October 2016 in exchange for not disclosing information about her alleged affair with Trump.
After the report was published, the government watchdog group Common Cause filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission requesting an investigation into the source of the payment. The complaint contends the payment was an in-kind donation to Trump's campaign that should have been included in its official reports that are publicly disclosed.
Later in January, In Touch magazine published an interview with Clifford that was conducted in 2011, during which she alleged to have had a sexual encounter with Trump in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, soon after Trump's third wife, Melania, gave birth to to their son Barron.
At the end of January, however, a statement attributed to Daniels said the affair never happened. But in a televised interview on the same day, she appeared to deny the statement, maintaining she was not aware of its origins and the signature was not similar to hers.
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