LOS ANGELES (CN) – Text messages between Stormy Daniels’ former attorney and Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, form the crux of a lawsuit in which Daniels claims the two “colluded” to discredit her story about an alleged affair with Trump.
In her lawsuit, Daniels says Keith Davidson, who represented her in 2016, communicated with Cohen in October 2016. The adult films star born Stephanie Clifford says then Cohen paid her $130,000 days before the 2016 presidential election to stop her from revealing an alleged affair with Trump in 2006 in Lake Tahoe.
But Daniels now says Davidson was a “puppet” for Cohen and Trump, according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday.
Cohen is often referred to as Trump’s personal “fixer” by Daniels’ current attorney, Michael Avenatti.
Daniels says after the 2016 agreement was signed by Daniels, Davidson continued to communicate with Cohen.
She claims that on Jan. 17, 2018, Davidson and Cohen exchanged text messages to hash out a plan to get Daniels on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show to deny an In Touch magazine article that detailed her alleged affair with Trump. Trump has consistently denied the affair.
According to text messages cited in the complaint, Cohen told Davidson that Daniels was scheduled to appear on Hannity’s program that night.
Davidson wrote back to say Daniels was unavailable that night, but he would try “to get her to commit for tomorrow,” Daniels says in the lawsuit.
Cohen responded two minutes later: “It’s really important. Why?” and “Can you call me please.” And about 20 minutes later, “Please call me.”
Davidson responded he was trying to get Daniels to commit to the interview. Cohen wrote, “This is no good. We need her, as by doing tomorrow you just create another news cycle instead of putting an end to this one,” Daniels claims.
Frustrated, Cohen wrote, “Cmon!” and changed his mind shortly before 5:30 p.m.
“Let’s forget tonight. They [Fox News and the Trump administration] would rather tomorrow so they can promote the heck out of the show,” Cohen wrote, according to Daniels.
Later that night, Cohen texted Davidson again to say that it wasn’t in their best interest for Daniels to appear on the program.
“Keith, The wise men all believe the story is dying and don’t think it’s smart for her to do any interviews. Let her do her thing but no interview at all with anyone,” Cohen wrote, according to Daniels.
Daniels says in the complaint that the “wise men” mentioned in the text message is Trump.
She says Davidson agreed with Cohen’s message and Cohen wrote, “Thanks pal.”
He added, “Just no interviews or statements unless through you.”
Davidson replied, “Got it,” according to Daniels.
In February 2018, Davidson learned Daniels was dropping him as her attorney and would go public with her story of the alleged affair.
According to Daniels, Davidson told Cohen about this and on Feb. 27 an arbitration proceeding was initiated against Daniels to keep her quiet. The following month, Davidson notified Cohen again that Daniels was about to file her lawsuit against Trump and Cohen – which Daniels says was an “improper disclosure of confidential information” by Davidson.
Later, Cohen tried to meet with First Lady Melania Trump in Florida to “get out in front” of the impending lawsuit, according to Daniels. Her lawsuit points to a text message from Davidson asking if Cohen was available.
“With flotus. Give me a minute,” Cohen replied, according to Daniels.
Daniels names both men as defendants on claims of breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty. She seeks damages, including punitive damages, and seeks an order directing her entire client file – including all messages relating to her – be turned over to her. Trump is not a party.
Avenatti represents her in this action.
Cohen is currently under criminal investigation in the New York federal court, after his office and hotel room were raided by federal agents seeking documents related to the payment to Daniels.