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Stormy Daniels settles suit against Michael Cohen in hush-money scandal

Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

LOS ANGELES -- Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels has agreed to drop the last of three lawsuits that her former attorney Michael Avenatti filed in the scandal stemming from her alleged one-night stand with Donald Trump.

"She's ready to move on and put these cases behind her," said Daniels' attorney Jason H. Tokoro.

Her last lawsuit accused Trump's former personal counsel Michael Cohen of colluding with her own onetime attorney Keith Davidson to undercut her interests when they negotiated a $130,000 payment to keep her silent about the alleged affair.

Trump approved the payment days before his election as president in 2016, according to Cohen, who pleaded guilty last year to a campaign finance felony for orchestrating the deal.

Lawyers for Daniels, Cohen and Davidson each signed a notice of settlement that was filed late Thursday in state Superior Court in Santa Monica.

Daniels agreed to drop her suit against Davidson with no payment by either side. Davidson, who is based in Beverly Hills, called the suit "frivolous."

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"I had no allegiance to anyone in this case except my client whom I always vigorously advocated for," he said. "I'm glad that the injurious and libelous smear campaign against me is over."

Davidson initially cast the lawsuit as a publicity stunt by Avenatti to divert attention from his law firm bankruptcy and his alleged tax delinquency.

Avenatti, who replaced Davidson as Daniels' attorney in early 2018, is now awaiting trial on federal charges of extortion, bank fraud, perjury, failure to pay taxes, embezzlement from clients and other financial crimes.

Terms of Daniels' settlement with Cohen, who is serving a three-year prison sentence, were not disclosed. Cohen's lawyer, Brent Blakely, did not respond to a request for comment.

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