LOS ANGELES (CN) – Porn star Stormy Daniels on Monday accused President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney of flooding the court with “far-fetched ‘kitchen-sink’ arguments” in an effort to keep her lawsuit against him and her former attorney out of state court.
Daniels sued her former lawyer Keith Davidson last month, claiming he colluded with Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen to discredit her story of an alleged 2006 affair with Trump in Lake Tahoe.
Daniels, born Stephanie Clifford, says Davidson – who represented her in 2016 – communicated with Cohen through text messages without her knowledge or consent. In a cross-complaint, Davidson claims Cohen invaded his privacy by recording their conversations.
Cohen is currently under federal investigation in New York regarding the $130,000 payment he made to Daniels for her silence on the alleged affair with the president.
Cohen’s attorney’s asked to remove Daniels’ suit to federal court and to be dismissed from it, claiming a lack of jurisdiction since he doesn’t live or work in California.
“Neither the complaint nor the crossclaim allege that Cohen was physically present in the state of California when he performed the acts allegedly arising to the claims therein,” the brief filed July 3 states. “Nor do those pleadings allege any connection between Cohen and the state of California.”
In a 7-page response filed Monday, Daniels argued Cohen’s motion to be dismissed from the lawsuit – and his attempts to move the case to federal court – are examples of “clear gamesmanship” and must be rejected.
“The court should not be taken in by this naked attempt to distract the court,” Daniels’ response, filed by attorney Michael Avenatti, said.
Cohen and Davidson did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
Resolution of Daniels’ federal lawsuit against Trump, Cohen and shell company Essential Consultants would not affect the lawsuit against Davidson and Cohen in state court, Avenatti wrote on Daniels’ behalf.
The response urges the court to reject Cohen’s attempt to “raise the question of personal jurisdiction” in the case.
In her original complaint, Daniels called Davidson a “puppet” for Cohen and Trump.
Daniels claims that on Jan. 17, 2018, Davidson and Cohen exchanged text messages to hash out a plan to get her to appear on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show to deny an In Touch magazine article that detailed her alleged affair with Trump.
Daniels names both men as defendants on claims of breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty.
In an answer to her complaint, Davidson said Daniels contacted him “seemingly hundreds of times” to request that he reach out to Cohen and get his permission for various financial opportunities that would not violate the nondisclosure agreement.
Davidson seeks attorney fees and costs as well as the dismissal of Daniels’ lawsuit.
Daniels has asked U.S District Judge S. James Otero to remand the case to Los Angeles County Superior Court. A hearing on the matter is set for July 23.
She seeks damages in excess of $100,000, including punitive damages, and recovery of her client file from Davidson.
Cohen responded quickly: his attorney Brent Blakely filed a motion Monday afternoon to delay the case, once again claiming that Daniels’ lawsuit is “another attempt at judge and forum shopping” because it should have been part of her lawsuit against Trump, Cohen and Essential Consultants.
The motion also invokes Cohen’s Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination since there is a potential factual overlap between the Davidson-Cohen lawsuit, New York criminal proceedings and Daniels’ breach of contract case against Trump, Cohen and Essential Consultants.
“Compelling Cohen to sit for a deposition or otherwise provide testimony that bears heavily on these rights would cause undue prejudice,” Cohen’s motion said.
Cohen filed a separate motion Monday asking Otero to dismiss Daniels “meritless” aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty claim because his communications with Davidson are protected by “litigation privilege.”