GOP Donor Lobbies to Reseal Lurid Lawsuit by Playmate

Playboy model Shera Bechard at Glamourcon #50, Los Angeles, in November 2010. (© Glenn Francis, via Wikipedia)

LOS ANGELES (CN) – A top Republican fundraiser has filed for an emergency stay of a former Playboy model’s lurid claims against him, which a judge in Los Angeles ordered unsealed Friday.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth White ordered the unsealing of the full Playboy model Shera Bechard’s complaint, which reveals details about a $1.6 million hush settlement she accepted to keep quiet about her 2017 affair with GOP honcho Elliott Broidy and the pregnancy she says he forced her to terminate.

White granted Broidy’s request to strike “prurient allegations” that she deemed unrelated to the lawsuit and ordered Bechard to file an amended complaint. Broidy did not ask to seal Bechard’s causes of action.

However, White stayed her order to let Broidy seek emergency relief.

And in the petition he filed Friday, Broidy asked for an emergency stay of all proceedings and for the case to be resealed because it threatens his constitutional privacy rights and could “inflict irreversible constitutional and reputational injuries.”

He adds: “There is no right of public access to irrelevant information.”

In her lawsuit, Bechard claims Broidy refused to use a condom, failed to tell her he has herpes and forced her to get an abortion after barring her from using birth control during their affair.

Broidy says Bechard’s lawsuit for breach of contract in a confidentiality agreement involving Broidy – should not have included “salacious and inflammatory allegations” regarding his sexual and medical history.

“Numerous paragraphs of her complaint go into graphic, sordid detail about Mr. Broidy’s purported sexual history, health, and romantic relationship with plaintiff,” Broidy says in his petition, adding the details are “designed to malign and embarrass” Broidy and his family.

A redacted version of the complaint was unsealed July 31 and was posted on Twitter by Bechard’s attorney, Los Angeles-based Peter Stris of Stris & Maher.

“Elliott Broidy continues to viciously attack our client, Shera Bechard, in the press—this time because a judge found his legal arguments for secrecy unavailing and because his own lawyers failed to do their jobs,” a spokeswoman for Stris & Maher said in a statement. “We will not be intimidated as we work to vindicate our client’s rights.”

Broidy, a major donor with ties to the Trump White House, resigned as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee in April 2018 after the affair with Bechard came to light.

The hush agreement was arranged by President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen, who also facilitated a hush agreement between porn star Stormy Daniels, Trump and shell company Essential Consultants. Daniels claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006 and was paid ahead of the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet.

Also Friday, White dismissed two of Bechard’s claims that Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti collaborated with Bechard’s former attorney Keith Davidson to stifle the hush agreement.

Bechard accuses Davidson of drafting a one-sided agreement that favored Broidy, forcing her to sign away her rights and including a clause requiring her to pay $4.8 million in liquidated damages if she ever mentioned the settlement with Broidy.

She seeks the return of $140,000 she paid Davidson for his work, the remaining money due under her deal with Broidy and damages against all defendants.

Avenatti appeared to reference the affair in an April 12 post on Twitter: “In last 18 mos, Mr. Cohen negotiated yet another hush NDA, this time on behalf of a prominent GOP donor who had a relationship with a LA woman, impregnated her and then made sure she had an abortion. The deal provided for multiple payments across many months.”

Avenatti did not respond to a request for comment but on Twitter called Bechard’s claims “bogus.” He also said he plans to appeal a third claim that wasn’t dismissed, and that Bechard will end up owing him money when the case is over.

“The court also denied their request for attorneys’ fees and invited me to seek my fees,” Avenatti said. “Stris and his client will ultimately be paying me when this charade is over.”

Bechard’s lawyers disagreed.

“Today Judge White found Shera Bechard has persuasive evidence that Michael Avenatti illegally pressured Ms. Bechard’s former lawyer to hand over her confidential information. We think that ruling speaks for itself, and we will vigorously oppose all of Mr. Avenatti’s attempts to avoid answering to a jury for his misconduct,” a Stris & Maher spokeswoman said.

Avenatti has previously tweeted that he should have never been named in Bechard’s initial complaint and called the move an “ambush.”

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