Stormy Daniels' former attorney countersues porn actress
By MICHAEL BALSAMO
Jun. 08, 2018
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A day after Stormy Daniels accused her former lawyer of being a "puppet" for President Donald Trump, the attorney countersued the porn star and her new attorney for defamation and accused Trump's personal attorney of illegally recording their telephone calls.
The countersuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Los Angeles — hours after Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani claimed Daniels isn't credible and has "no reputation" because she's a porn actress.
The comment drew a fiery response from Daniels' current lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who called Giuliani a "pig."
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had sex with Trump in 2006 when he was married. Trump has denied it.
She is fighting to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement she signed days before the 2016 election.
The countersuit by Davidson came a day after Daniels filed a lawsuit accusing him of being a "puppet" for Trump and secretly working with Cohen to have her appear on Fox News and falsely deny having sex with Trump. The interview never took place.
Davidson denied those claims and says Daniels wanted to appear on the show to bolster her popularity.
Davidson's lawsuit alleges that Daniels and Avenatti defamed him when Avenatti tweeted that Davidson "should have been charged after his arrest for extortion not long ago."
Davidson says in his lawsuit that he was never arrested for extortion and the tweet was "false" and meant to hurt his reputation.
The statement was "negligently, recklessly and intentionally published in a manner equaling malice," the lawsuit said.
Davidson alleges Cohen illegally recorded their telephone calls when Davidson represented Daniels.
The suit provides no proof to substantiate the claims and no details on exactly when the calls were recorded.
Davidson denies that he did anything improper while representing Daniels and said in his countersuit that she told him she wanted to appear on Sean Hannity's show on Fox News to boost her public image and would do anything to make sure she could keep the $130,000 she was paid as part of the confidentiality agreement.
In a statement, Avenatti said Davidson is "a proven liar and his conduct is abhorrent."
"He is an embarrassment to the profession and seems to have forgotten what the attorney-client privilege is all about," Avenatti said. "His allegations are false and we look forward to having his frivolous claims thrown out of court."
People in the adult film industry also took Giuliani to task Thursday for his comments about Daniels, saying they demean women in general and were aimed solely at discrediting Daniels because of how she makes a living and not based on the facts of the case.
"I'm sorry I don't respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who isn't going to sell her body for sexual exploitation," Giuliani said Wednesday at a conference in Tel Aviv.
Daniels' work as an adult film actress "entitles you to no degree of giving your credibility any weight," he said, adding that people could "just look" at her to know she wasn't believable.
Adult film actress Kimberly Kane, who has appeared in hundreds of films, said the statement is "dangerous and dehumanizing to sex workers."
"We are already an extremely marginalized group made up mostly of women, people of color, trans and the disabled, people who are trying to make a living like everyone else," Kane said.
Associated Press writers Jonathan Lemire in New York, Darlene Superville in Washington, Alexandra Villarreal in Philadelphia and John Rogers in Los Angeles contributed to this report.