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Lawyer drops defamation suit against Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti

Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

A former lawyer for Stormy Daniels dropped a defamation suit Thursday that he filed in June against the porn actress and her attorney Michael Avenatti.

The lawyer, Keith Davidson, negotiated a $130,000 payment in 2016 for Daniels in return for her silence about her alleged affair with Donald Trump.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, fired Davidson and replaced him with Avenatti.

Davidson's suit accused Avenatti of defaming him on Twitter by suggesting that Davidson was once arrested for extortion.

"Mr. Davidson has no issue with Ms. Clifford," Davidson attorney Paul Berra said Thursday. "He decided to voluntarily dismiss his cross-complaint against her as a show of good faith."

Davidson filed the suit as a counter-claim to a Daniels lawsuit accusing him of going behind her back to advance President Donald Trump's interests in the scandal over their alleged affair.

Her suit portrays Davidson as a puppet of Trump and his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Davidson denies the allegation.

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Avenatti called Davidson's dismissed claims "bogus." "They were frivolous and should have never been filed in the first place," he wrote Thursday on Twitter.

Avenatti's claim of extortion apparently referred to an FBI sting operation involving Hulk Hogan. In 2012, Davidson sought $300,000 for a client who had a secretly taped video of the pro wrestler having sex.

FBI agents detained Davidson after he tried to collect the money at a Florida hotel, but he was not charged with criminal wrongdoing.

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