Stormy Daniels' ex-attorney rips former client and her new lawyer in countersuit that includes Cohen

Keith Davidson, the lawyer who formerly represented adult film star Stormy Daniels, filed a defamation claim Thursday...

Posted: Jun 8, 2018 9:48 AM
Updated: Jun 8, 2018 9:48 AM

Keith Davidson, the lawyer who formerly represented adult film star Stormy Daniels, filed a defamation claim Thursday against Daniels and her current lawyer, Michael Avenatti, as well as a separate claim against Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, for allegedly illegally recording phone calls with Davidson.

Davidson is also vehemently rejecting Daniels' accusation that he colluded with Cohen to help Trump. In fact, Davidson says, he only ever tried to help Daniels accomplish her goal of making money off of her alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

Davidson's new claims filed in federal court in Los Angeles mark the latest twist in the ongoing legal saga rooted in Daniels' alleged affair with Trump in 2006. They are the first legal actions Davidson has taken against Daniels, Avenatti and Cohen. The move is striking given that up until now, Davidson has been relatively reluctant to publicly discuss the details of his dealings with Daniels, as he has pointed to the constraints of attorney-client privilege.

Responding to a lawsuit that Daniels filed Wednesday against Davidson and Cohen, in which Daniels accused the two men of colluding to protect Trump, Davidson said he only ever communicated with Cohen per instructions from Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford.

"Clifford was clear in her desire that she would say and do whatever necessary in order to prevent" having to return "the $130,000 settlement funds she had received months earlier," Davidson said in an answer rebutting that lawsuit -- a reference to the hush money Daniels received from Cohen in 2016 in exchange for her to be quiet about Trump. "Suffice to say, since Ms. Clifford has begun working with Mr. Avenatti, her goals have transformed."

He said Daniels or her manager Gina Rodriguez called him "seemingly hundreds of times," urging Davidson to reach out to Cohen to convince him that the "various financial opportunities/activities" that Daniels wanted to participate in were not in violation of her hush agreement.

The accusation that Davidson had been a "puppet" for Cohen and Trump is an "outrageously false and historically revisionist statement which will not and cannot be proven true at any point," Davidson added.

In addition to filing an answer to Daniels' lawsuit, Davidson also filed a defamation counterclaim against Avenatti and Daniels. He accused the two of making "countless reckless and false statements" against him, which will harm his "business, professional and personal reputations." He included an example of a tweet by Avenatti on Wednesday in which Avenatti accused Davidson of "unethical conduct."

"Avenatti has been on a crusade to falsely vilify Davidson," the counterclaim said.

Separately, Davidson is also countersuing Cohen for alleged illegal phone recordings. He claimed that he and Cohen first began speaking on the phone in 2011, but never met in person until 2018. The two men's negotiations about the Daniels hush agreement took place via email and phone calls, the claim said, and Davidson alleged that Cohen "surreptitiously and intentionally recorded several telephone calls" between them.

"Davidson never consented to the recordation of any phone calls he had with Cohen as he believe the calls were confidential," the claim said.

It cited California law that says it is illegal to record telephone communications without consent of all participants on the call.

Davidson did not elaborate on why he believes Cohen recorded their phone calls. But CNN previously reported that the FBI seized -- as a part of an ongoing criminal investigation into Cohen -- recordings that Cohen made of his conversations with Davidson.

When federal agents raided Cohen's office, home and hotel room earlier this year, their warrant in part sought information about Cohen's $130,000 hush payment to Daniels in 2016, as well as any information that connected Cohen with efforts to also suppress disclosure of Trump's alleged affair with Playboy model Karen McDougal.

A source familiar with the matter told CNN that Cohen recorded some calls he had with Davidson while Davidson represented Daniels and McDougal. Davidson no longer represents either woman.

In her lawsuit Wednesday, Daniels had claimed that Davidson and Cohen colluded against her to protect Trump. It cited text messages allegedly exchanged between the two men between January and March of this year.

The text messages show, the lawsuit said, Davidson and Cohen trying to arrange for Daniels to appear on Sean Hannity's show on Fox News in January so that she could deny that she had an affair with Trump.

But later in the day, Cohen appeared to change his mind, writing to Davidson: "The wise men all believe the story is dying and don't think it's smart for her to do any interviews. Let her do her thing but no interviews at all with anyone."

The claim accused Davidson of failing in his duties as Daniels' ex-attorney.

"Mr. Davidson's communications with Mr. Cohen were inconsistent with his obligations to Ms. Clifford, including his obligation to maintain client confidences and his duty of loyalty to Ms. Clifford," the Daniels lawsuit said. "Starting in January 2018 at the latest, Defendants Davidson and Cohen acted in concert to benefit not Ms. Clifford, but a client of Mr. Cohen's, namely Mr. Trump."

But Davidson said in his answer to Daniels' lawsuit on Thursday that in January, Daniels had actually been "eager to appear" on Hannity's Fox News show. "She stated her desire to 'increase her public exposure and thus her earning capacity," Davidson said.

In addition, his contacts with Cohen were "authorized by" and "made with the full knowledge of both Clifford and her manager Gina Rodriguez," Davidson said.

The filing disputes an allegation by Avenatti that Davidson hasn't handed over all of the material he has on Daniels; Davidson said he had hired two former federal prosecutors to represent him, and that they had his complete file on the Daniels matter, and had determined that "Clifford, (through Michael Avenatti), is in possession of every single document he is entitled to."

Responding to Daniels' lawsuit on Wednesday, a spokesman for Davidson had called it "outrageously frivolous," and added that "the truth can now finally come out to rebut the false narrative about Attorney Davidson that Mr. Avenatti has been pushing in his more than 175 television appearances and countless other media interviews."

Meanwhile, one person familiar with Cohen's thinking told CNN that the text messages cited in the Daniels lawsuit represented discussions between two lawyers who wanted to ensure that the non-disclosure agreement that Daniels signed was being adhered to.

On Thursday, Cohen's attorney filed paperwork to move Daniels' lawsuit to federal court.

In a statement to CNN, Avenatti said Davidson's suit will be thrown out by a judge.

"We look forward to having his frivolous claims thrown out of court," he said.

West Lafayette
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 67°
Kokomo
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 67°
Rensselaer
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 63°
Fowler
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 63°
Williamsport
Overcast
62° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 62°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
62° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 62°
Frankfort
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 68°
Delphi
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 69°
Monticello
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 69°
Logansport
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 72°
Dry, windy, very warm weather, followed by scattered rain & much cooler conditions.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115407

Reported Deaths: 3566
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21196765
Lake10493323
Elkhart6528110
St. Joseph6392106
Allen6178202
Hamilton4848109
Vanderburgh360930
Hendricks2715123
Monroe256036
Tippecanoe239113
Johnson2305123
Clark221457
Porter213647
Delaware194262
Cass19419
Vigo182526
Madison164375
LaPorte142340
Floyd135862
Howard130563
Warrick128038
Kosciusko121617
Bartholomew116457
Marshall100824
Dubois96919
Boone96846
Hancock92143
Grant91934
Noble90832
Henry79826
Wayne75414
Jackson7499
Morgan71638
Shelby67229
Daviess66328
Dearborn66028
LaGrange63411
Clinton59914
Harrison57624
Putnam56412
Knox5159
Gibson5114
Lawrence51129
Montgomery50821
White48514
DeKalb47611
Decatur45839
Miami4353
Greene42435
Fayette42113
Jasper3942
Steuben3807
Scott37311
Sullivan33712
Posey3240
Jennings31312
Franklin30725
Clay3005
Ripley2968
Orange28824
Carroll27413
Whitley2707
Washington2651
Wabash2648
Starke2637
Adams2613
Wells2614
Jefferson2483
Spencer2413
Fulton2382
Huntington2363
Tipton22622
Perry22113
Randolph2167
Jay1800
Newton17311
Owen1681
Martin1640
Rush1554
Pike1471
Vermillion1280
Fountain1232
Blackford1193
Pulaski1131
Crawford1050
Brown1043
Parke962
Benton880
Ohio787
Union780
Switzerland690
Warren391
Unassigned0226

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events