MANHATTAN (CN) – Porn actress Stormy Daniels sued President Donald Trump on Monday for calling it a “total con job” after she released a sketch of the man she claims threatened her.
“A sketch years later about a nonexistent man,” Trump had tweeted on April 18. “A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!”
Represented by Connecticut attorney Catherine Keenan, Daniels filed the suit Monday afternoon with a federal judge in Manhattan. Though known professionally as Stormy Daniels, the 39-year-old actress was born Stephanie Clifford.
She says the drawing shows the man who approached her and her infant daughter seven years ago in a Las Vegas parking lot.
At the time, the actress’s complaint explains, In Touch Magazine was preparing an article about a one-night stand Daniels claims to have had with Trump in 2006.
“The man approached Ms. Clifford in the parking lot and said to her, ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget the story,’” the complaint states.
“The man then leaned around and looked at Ms. Clifford’s infant daughter and said, ‘That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.’ The man then left.”
Daniels gave a similar account of the encounter earlier this month in an interview with “60 Minutes.” She and her other attorney, Michael Avenatti, released the sketch of the man from the parking lot two weeks ago while appearing on ABC’s “The View.”
Avenatti offered $100,000 reward to anyone who could identify the man in the sketch by sending information to IDTheThug@gmail.com.
The White House referred a request for comment to Trump’s outside counsel, who did not return a phone call by press time.
In his tweet mocking the initiative meanwhile Trump embedded another tweet where someone highlighted physical similarities between the man in the sketch and an ex of Daniels.
Demanding at least $75,000 in punitive damages, Daniels painted the tweet in her suit Monday as defamation “per se,” meaning that it falsely accuses her of “committing a serious crime.”
Fabricating the crime and the existence of an assailant would violate “New York law, as well as the law of numerous other states,” the 7-page complaint notes.
Trump has made few public statements about Daniels, but the White House says he denies that any affair took place.
In 2016, as the former reality-television star was campaigning for the presidency, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels $130,000 to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
Cohen says he used his own money and never told Trump about the matter, but Trump confirmed in an interview last week with “Fox & Friends” that Cohen “represents me like with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal.”
Across the country in Los Angeles, 39-year-old Daniels is suing to have her settlement declared void.
The judge presiding over that case put the proceedings on hold for 90 days this past Friday, however, citing the ongoing criminal investigation Cohen faces in New York.
On April 9, FBI agents executed a search warrant on Cohen’s New York office and residence to obtain records about his $130,000 payment to Daniels.