Stormy Daniels offers to return $130,000 payment to Trump lawyer

Porn star Stephanie Clifford, who claims she had an affair with President Trump over a decade ago, is offering to return the $130,000 that Trump attorney Michael Cohen paid to her in exchange for her silence on the topic. CBS News has obtained a letter sent by her lawyer to Cohen Monday morning saying that in exchange for the return of the money, Clifford wants the nondisclosure agreement she signed to be deemed null and void, thus allowing her to "speak openly and freely about her prior relationship with the President and the attempts to silence her." And Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels, also wants to be able to use any text messages, photos or videos she has, relating to the president, "without fear of retribution and/or legal liability for damages."

The letter mentions a specific television interview -- Clifford recently sat down with CBS News contributor Anderson Cooper for "60 Minutes," but that interview has not yet aired. 

"Neither EC (Essential Consultants, the LLC formed by Cohen to pay Clifford) nor the President shall take any action, legal or otherwise, aimed at preventing Ms. Clifford's recent interview with Anderson Cooper of "60 Minutes" from airing publicly."

Signed by Clifford's attorney, Michael Avenatti, the letter gives Cohen until 12:01 p.m. Tuesday to respond before the offer is withdrawn. 

This is another attempt by Clifford to dispense with the NDA. On Wednesday, Clifford filed suit in California on Tuesday asking a court to throw out a non-disclosure agreement preventing her from discussing an alleged affair with Mr. Trump. Clifford asked the court on Tuesday to nullify the agreement, claiming Mr. Trump never signed the document, and that it is null and void as a result. 

This came after an arbitrator issued a temporary restraining order against Clifford last week to stop her from talking about the case or her alleged affair with Mr. Trump. Avenatti says that Cohen had the arbitrator issued the order without giving Clifford or her her lawyer a chance to argue their side of the case. 

CBS News' Paula Reid points out, however, that regardless of the letter offering to return the money, the contract is either valid or void, and that will be decided by a judge, who would decide whether the original agreement is valid without the president's signature and also whether it's still valid since Cohen has been talking about the agreement to the media. 

Julia Kimani Burnham contributed to this report. 


More U.S.


More Politics


More World


More Entertainment


More Technology


More Science


More Health


More MoneyWatch


More Crime


More Space

Latest Galleries

More Latest Galleries


More Popular


Corden previews star-studded dodgeball game

James Corden is taking "The Late Late Show" on the road for a week of shows in his home town of London, which will include a special game of dodgeball. Team UK will play team U.S., led by a captain ready to win at all costs: former first lady Michelle Obama. The dodgeball game between Corden's team UK and Obama's team U.S. will air Monday night. Corden joins "CBS This Morning" from his London set to discuss how it all came together.

Life inside Syria's last rebel stronghold

CBS News has gained rare access inside Syria, which is now in its eighth year of civil war. Syrian forces have begun a new bombing campaign, and there are fears that a full-scale offensive could be next. The province of Idlib, home to three million people, is one of the last remaining areas in western Syria that the government does not control. Holly Williams recently returned from Idlib, where she saw firsthand what life is like for those living in constant fear.

CBS News poll shows Biden leading Democrats

For the first CBS News battleground tracker poll, CBS News and YouGov spoke to more than 16,000 registered voters in 18 states that will hold the first primaries and caucuses. Primary voters in those states, from Iowa in early February to the Super Tuesday states in March, will help narrow down the 24 declared Democratic candidates. CBS News elections and surveys director Anthony Salvanto joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss what he found.

More in Popular

We and our partners use cookies to understand how you use our site, improve your experience and serve you personalized content and advertising. Read about how we use cookies in our cookie policy and how you can control them by clicking Manage Settings. By continuing to use this site, you accept these cookies.