The story revolving around President Donald Trump and his alleged relationship with adult film star Stormy Daniels continues to develop. In January, multiple outlets reported details about an alleged affair between the two, and two months later, Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — sued the president to dispute the terms of a "hush agreement" that she and other media outlets claim was designed to keep her quiet. The narrative now includes a pitch to the public for help, with an online fundraiser having been set up to show how to donate to Stormy Daniels' lawsuit against Trump.
On the fundraiser's webpage, the details of which were reported by The Washington Post, Daniels claims,
I am attempting to speak honestly and openly to the American people about my relationship with now President Donald Trump, as well as the intimidation and tactics that he, together with his attorney Michael Cohen, have used to silence me. In order to tell my story, I have had to file a public lawsuit in Los Angeles, California in an effort to void a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that Mr. Trump never signed and yet is trying to use to intimidate me.
The White House has all the while denied that the affair took place.
The webpage shows that Daniels has received a total of $16,417 in donations from 619 people as of Wednesday afternoon, March 14.
Stormy Daniels' lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, March 6, in Los Angeles County. On the same day, Daniels' legal representative, Michael Avenatti, tweeted a link to the full text of the suit. The suit claims that Trump sought to reach a non-disclosure agreement with Daniels after it came to his attention that the adult film start planned to go public with details of an alleged affair between the two.
"After discovering Ms. Clifford's plans, Mr. Trump, with the assistance of his attorney Mr. [Michael] Cohen, aggressively sought to silence Ms. Clifford as part of an effort to avoid her telling the truth, thus helping to ensure he won the Presidential Election," the suit reads.
When the lawsuit was made public, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders reasserted that the president has said the allegations are not true, and she added that a case had been won in arbitration. That arbitration proceeding sought a restraining order, according to Reuters.
In January, The Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen, a longtime legal representative of Trump, set up a Delaware limited liability company to surreptitiously pay Daniels $130,000 in exchange for not sharing details of the alleged affair with the public. The New York Times reported that, in October 2016, Daniels had been in talks to share her story with online magazine Slate and ABC's Good Morning America.
Both reports were followed by the release of a transcript for a 2011 interview between Daniels and In Touch Weekly magazine. According to the transcript, Daniels and Trump met in 2006, at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe.
"He kept looking at me and then we ended up riding to another hole on the same golf cart together and he’s like, 'I want to come talk to you later.' Later, when he was coming to the gift room, he came to talk to me and asked for my number and I gave it to him," Daniels is quoted as saying. "Then he asked me if I wanted to have dinner that night and I was like, 'Yeah, of course!'"
Daniels initially reacted to reports about the alleged affair without affirming that it occurred. However, between the suit and, now, her fundraising campaign, it's clear where she stands.
"I need funds to pay for: attorneys' fees; out-of-pocket costs associated with the lawsuit, arbitration, and my right to speak openly; security expenses; and damages that may be awarded against me if I speak out and ultimately lose to Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen," the fundraiser's webpage says.