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Trump’s lawyer paid porn star to keep quiet about affair: Report

White House has denied the report in which the woman, Stephanie Clifford, says she met Donald Trump at a celebrity golf event in 2006.

world Updated: Jan 13, 2018 21:27 IST
Hindustan Times, Washington
Donald Trump,Trump lawyer,Trump porn star
President Donald Trump during an event to honour Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.(AP Photo)

A lawyer for Donald Trump paid an adult film star $130,000 before the 2016 presidential election in return for her silence about a sexual encounter with the Republican nominee in 2006, a report in The Wall Street Journal has said.

Stephanie Clifford, who goes by the screen name Stormy Daniels, had in private conversations claimed to have had consensual sex with Trump after they met at a celebrity golf tournament in 2006, the report added. The alleged affair took place a year after Trump married Melania.

The payment by Trump’s long-time personal lawyer Michael Cohen was reported to have been made in October, when she was considering sharing an account of that affair with ABC news and Slate Magazine.

In a statement sent to multiple news publications, the lawyer did not address the issue of the payment: “These rumours have circulated time and again since 2011. President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence, as has Ms Daniels.”

A statement signed by Clifford but released by Cohen said reports that “I had a sexual and/or romantic affair with Mr Trump many, many, many years ago” were “completely false” and “Rumours that I have received hush money from Donald Trump are completely false”.

The White House said: “These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election.”

Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief of the Slate Group, spoke to The New York Times on Friday about his negotiations with Clifford for her story. In a series of interviews in August and October, she reportedly told him she had an affair with Trump after meeting him at the golf tournament.

Trump had been facing allegations of sexual misconduct and on October 7, news broke about Trump boasting of forcing himself sexually on women.

Clifford also told Weisberg that Cohen had agreed to pay her the $130,000 if she kept the relationship secret. It wasn’t clear from the reports if she had approached the campaign for money in return for keeping quiet.

Weisberg said Clifford had told him she was planning to go public with her account because the lawyer was late in making the payment and she feared he might back out of their agreement. But then their conversations stopped.

First Published: Jan 13, 2018 09:36 IST