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What is an NDA, or nondisclosure agreement?

Stormy Daniels suing Trump

Stephanie Clifford, the adult film actress known as Stormy Daniels, filed a lawsuit Tuesday asking a judge to release her from a nondisclosure agreement, or NDA, she signed in October 2016. The agreement prevents her from talking about the affair she alleges she had with Mr. Trump in 2006 and 2007. Mr. Trump's attorney Michael Cohen paid Clifford $130,000 in exchange for her silence. The new lawsuit argues that the agreement is invalid, since Mr. Trump himself never signed the document.

CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman said in October that there are two types of nondisclosure agreements, one of which deals with disparaging a company or giving away trade secrets. The other is a contract between two people in which one person agrees to remain silent. 

"If you violate a confidentiality agreement, you've broken a contract. So, you might have to pay the money back and there might be clauses where you have to pay damages," Klieman explained.  

Clifford's attorney, Michael Avenatti, told CBS News on Wednesday that the agreement his client signed would require her to pay the president $1 million "per instance" of a breach of the confidentiality agreement.

Porn star Stormy Daniels sues over "hush agreement"

Mr. Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, said publicly that he paid Clifford $130,000 with his own money in Oct. 2016. In the court filing, Clifford said it was in exchange for her silence. Clifford is alleging that Cohen broke the agreement by talking about it.

According to Klieman, whether or not Cohen broke the secrecy is the key issue. "I think the best argument is that Michael Cohen talked about it and therefore the door is open," Klieman told CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford. 

When Clifford appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in January, she said she could not confirm or deny if she had signed an NDA. But when Kimmel said that if she didn't have a nondisclosure agreement, she could say it, Daniels replied, "You're so smart, Jimmy."

Cohen has said that Mr. Trump didn't know about the Oct. 2016 agreement, and that's why he didn't sign it. When asked Wednesday if Mr. Trump knew about the agreement, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "Not that I'm aware of." 

Sanders said the case had been won in arbitration, which Avenatti denies. "For the White House spokesperson to stand up and claim that Trump won the case in arbitration is ludicrous. I'm dumbfounded," he said.

According to Avenatti, a California arbitrator granted a temporary restraining order against Clifford, and Avenatti said the arbitrator issue the order without giving Daniels or her lawyer any opportunity to argue their side. 

Clifford had given an interview in 2011 to In Touch Weekly about the alleged relationship, and although the tabloid opted not to publish it then, it published the full 5,500-word transcript after the Wall Street Journal reported the payment from Cohen in January.   

The In Touch story was filled with salacious details, including that the alleged affair happened shortly after Melania Trump gave birth to the couple's son, Barron.

"We had really good banter," Clifford allegedly told the tabloid. "He told me once that I was someone to be reckoned with, beautiful and smart just like his daughter."

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