Stormy Daniels said Wednesday that her attorney Michael Avenatti filed her defamation lawsuit against President Trump without telling her.
The porn star who claims to have had a brief affair with Mr. Trump also said she has seen none of the crowdfunding money that Mr. Avenatti has raised on her behalf and that he even started a second such campaign without her knowledge.
“For months I’ve asked Michael Avenatti to give me accounting information about the fund my supporters so generously donated to for my safety and legal defense. He has repeatedly ignored those requests. Days ago I demanded again, repeatedly, that he tell me how the money was being spent and how much was left. Instead of answering me, without my permission or even my knowledge Michael launched another crowdfunding campaign to raise money on my behalf. I learned about it on Twitter,” she told the Daily Beast.
The actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford accused Mr. Avenatti, who has become a talk-show staple and a potential Democratic presidential contender, of not acting in her best interests.
“In other ways Michael has not treated me with the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client. He has spoken on my behalf without my approval. He filed a defamation case against Donald Trump against my wishes. … I don’t want to hurt Michael, but it’s time to set the record straight. The truth has always been my greatest ally,” Ms. Clifford said.
And while Ms. Clifford called her attorney “a great advocate in many ways,” she is unsure whether she will keep him on the case.
“I haven’t decided yet what to do about legal representation moving forward,” she said.
When the Daily Beast shared Ms. Clifford’s statement with Mr. Avenatti, he denied cheating her of any money, but did not rebut her claim that he had sued Mr. Trump without her knowledge.
“I have always been an open book with Stormy as to all aspects of her cases and she knows that. The retention agreement Stormy signed back in February provided that she would pay me $100.00 and that any and all other monies raised via a legal fund would go toward my legal fees and costs. Instead, the vast majority of the money raised has gone toward her security expenses and similar other expenses. The most recent campaign was simply a refresh of the prior campaign, designed to help defray some of Stormy’s expenses,” he said.