Stormy Daniels "receives threats on a near-hourly basis," attorney says

Stormy Daniels' lawyer "only getting started"

Michael Avenatti, who represents the woman who alleges she had an affair with Donald Trump and was paid to keep quiet about it, responded to a cease-and-desist letter from Mr. Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, after Stormy Daniels said in a "60 Minutes" interview that she had been consistently threatened.

On "CBS This Morning" Avenatti accused Cohen of a history "thuggish" behavior. He also acknowledged that Daniels has been continually threatened for coming forward.

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Attorney Michael Avenatti, who represents Stormy Daniels. CBS News

When asked to respond to Cohen's demands for a retraction and apology, Avenatti demurred, responding, "We're only getting started. Michael Cohen has zero credibility. We're going to prove it. His statements thus far in connection with this matter are laughable. This is a man who has a history of thuggish behavior, using intimidation tactics, and trying to step on little people. And as it relates to my client, it's going to come to an end and we're going to show the American people exactly who Michael Cohen is."

In an interview which aired Sunday on "60 Minutes," Daniels told Anderson Cooper that in 2006 she had had an affair with Mr. Trump, then the host of the reality show "The Apprentice." Then in 2011, after she had agreed to tell her story to In Touch magazine for $15,000, Daniels said she was threatened by a man in a Las Vegas parking lot who warned her to "Leave Trump alone. Forget the story." Two former employees of the magazine also told "60 Minutes" that the story never ran because Mr. Trump's attorney, Cohen, had threatened to sue them.

Then, in the run-up to the presidential election in 2016, Daniels was paid $130,000 by Cohen through a Delaware-based limited liability corporation he had established in mid-October 2016 called Essential Consultants LLC, in return for signing a non-disclosure agreement.

Mr. Trump never signed the agreement himself.

Avenatti said on Monday that he is in the process of trying to discover the identity of the man Daniels claims threatened her. "You can imagine how terrifying that was for my client," he said.

"Is she still being threatened?" asked co-host Gayle King. "Are you worried about her life? Is she worried about her safety?"

"Absolutely. She receives threats on a near-hourly basis. Now, we don't have anything tying those to Mr. Cohen or Mr. Trump, to be clear, but she's certainly scared for her safety and the safety of her family."

  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at CBSNews.com and cbssundaymorning.com.