Adult-film star offers to pay back alleged Trump affair hush money: letter

By Karen Freifeld

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The adult-film actress who says she had an affair with Donald Trump before he became U.S. president offered on Monday to give back the $130,000 that Trump’s personal lawyer paid her to keep mum about the alleged relationship.

Actress Stephanie Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, is trying to end her deal not to discuss what she says was an affair that began in 2006 and lasted for several months.

“This is an extremely fair offer,” her attorney, Michael Avenatti, said in an interview. “It accomplishes the goal of allowing the American people to decide who is telling the truth after hearing both sides.”

Avenatti sent a letter to Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, on Monday saying the actress would wire the funds to an account of Trump’s choosing by Friday. Avenatti set a deadline of Tuesday for Cohen to respond.

Under the proposal in Avenatti’s letter, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, Clifford would be allowed once the funds were returned to speak “openly and freely about her prior relationship with the president and attempts to silence her.”

She also would be able to “use and publish any text messages, photos and/or videos relating to the president that she may have in her possession, all without fear of retribution and/or legal liability for damages,” the Avenatti letter said.

The letter also asked that the president’s lawyers agree that neither Trump nor the shell company Cohen used to pay Clifford would attempt to block the broadcast of an interview Clifford taped with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” program last week.

And it would require the agreement be signed by all parties, including the president, who did not put his name to the previous nondisclosure deal.

Trump’s personal lawyer, Cohen, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter, nor did Cohen’s attorney. The White House also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The offer from Avenatti came after White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told a briefing last week that Trump had won an arbitration proceeding against Clifford.

The New York Times reported last week that the president’s lawyer had secretly obtained a temporary restraining order to prevent Clifford from speaking out about her alleged affair with Trump.

Clifford in turn sued Trump for the right to speak about the “intimate relationship” she claims they had, saying he never signed the agreement to keep her quiet.

Clifford could be subjected to a $1 million penalty if she broke the nondisclosure agreement she signed. Avenatti told CNN over the weekend that at least 10 people had offered to pay the penalty if she would discuss the alleged affair.

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld and David Alexander; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)