COLUMBUS, Ohio (CN) – Stormy Daniels, the porn actress who claimed President Donald Trump paid her hush money to cover up an alleged 2006 affair, sued several Ohio police detectives Monday, claiming their allegiance to Trump was behind her arrest at a strip club last year.
Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, filed a federal lawsuit claiming she was subjected to a politically motivated scheme during her performance at Sirens Gentlemen’s Club in Columbus. She is represented by attorneys with Sabol Mallory in Columbus and by Michael Avenatti, who has represented her in other Trump-related matters.
In her complaint, Daniels calls the officers who arrested her “avowed supporters of President Trump” who targeted her for speaking out about the $130,000 payment she says she received from Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen.
Daniels sued the president last March to get out of the confidentiality agreement she claims she signed in exchange for the money, and claims the July arrest in Ohio was no coincidence.
The detectives said they were on a prostitution sting operation when they saw Daniels violating the state’s Community Defense Act, which prohibits anyone from touching a nude performer, alleging a patron of Sirens had been allowed to touch her in a “nonsexual manner.”
The charges were dropped the next day.
According to the complaint, the officers “believed that Ms. Clifford was damaging President Trump and they thereafter entered into a conspiracy to arrest her during her performance in Columbus in retaliation for the public statements she had made regarding President Trump,” and to damage her reputation.
The vice officers planned their arrest in advance, according to the complaint and several emails leaked by a city employee. They also decided to arrest at least two other employees on similar charges to cover up their real motivations, the lawsuit states.
Those two women, dancer Brittany Walters and waitress Miranda Panda, also sued the police, saying they too were wrongfully arrested.
All three women claim the officers made inappropriate comments to them and spent $768 in taxpayer money on their cover charges, tips and alcohol.
“But for defendant officers’ commitment to President Trump and retaliatory motivation against Ms. Clifford, no arrest, prosecution, or defamation would ever have happened,” the lawsuit alleges.
Daniels is suing for false arrest, malicious prosecution and abuse of process. She seeks at least $1 million in compensatory damages and another $1 million in punitive damages.
The Columbus Police Department said in a statement that it has been made aware of the lawsuit but cannot comment because of an ongoing internal investigation.