A new lawsuit from adult film star Stormy Daniels cites one of President Donald Trump’s tweets as evidence for a claim of defamation.
The new suit, filed Monday in the Southern District of New York, claims an April tweet from Trump is “false and defamatory.”
A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)! https://t.co/9Is7mHBFda
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018
The complaint filed by lawyer Michael Avenatti claims that Trump’s tweet accuses Daniels, born Stephanie Clifford, of committing a crime:
“Mr. Trump’s statement falsely attacks the veracity of Ms. Clifford’s account of the threatening incident that took place in 2011. It also operates to accuse Ms. Clifford of committing a crime under New York law, as well as the law of numerous other states, in that it effectively states that Ms. Clifford falsely accused an individual of committing a crime against her when no such crime occurred.”
“In making the statement, Mr. Trump used his national and international audience of millions of people to make a false factual statement to denigrate and attack Ms. Clifford,” reads the complaint.
“Mr. Trump knew that his false, disparaging statement would be read by people around the world, as well as widely reported, and that Ms. Clifford would be subjected to threats of violence, economic harm, and reputational damage as a result.”
The complaint goes on to accuse Trump of defamation per se and says Daniels has suffered damages in excess of $75,000.
The defamation suit centers around the sketch of a man Daniels claims threatened her to stay quiet about her alleged affair with Trump. In an interview with 60 Minutes, Daniels said she was leaving a workout class when a man approached her, saying to “leave Trump alone” and “forget the story.”
In an appearance on The View in April, Daniels and Avenatti released a composite sketch of the man Daniels says threatened her.
This is a composite sketch of the man Stormy Daniels says threatened her in a parking lot in 2011 pic.twitter.com/0xCM9ecuB5
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) April 17, 2018
Now, Daniels and her lawyer say Trump’s claim that the man in the sketch is “nonexistent” qualifies as defamation.