Thursday, 12 July 2018

Adult film star Stormy Daniels arrested at Ohio strip club, attorney says

Adult film star Stormy Daniels was arrested during a Wednesday night performance at a strip club in Ohio, according to her lawyer, who called the arrest a "politically motivated" setup.
Daniels, who made headlines earlier this year over her claims of an alleged affair with President Donald Trump, was arrested while performing at the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club in Columbus after she allegedly allowed "a customer to touch her while on stage," her attorney, Michael Avenatti, said via Twitter early Thursday morning.
"Just [received] word that my client @StormyDaniels was arrested in Columbus Ohio [while] performing the same act she has performed across the nation at nearly a hundred strip clubs," Avenatti tweeted. "This was a setup [and] politically motivated. It reeks of desperation. We will fight all bogus charges."
ABC News reached out to Avenatti, who declined to elaborate beyond his tweets.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, allegedly touched some of the patrons' breasts and allowed them to touch her, according to court documents obtained by ABC affiliate WSYX. She allegedly performed the same act with several officers who approached the stage and forced one officer's head into her bare chest.
The documents did not indicate if the officers were in plain clothes or in uniform at the time.
Columbus police arrested Daniels, 39, along with two other unspecified individuals at the club.
Daniels, who was semi-nude during the performance, was charged with three misdemeanor counts of knowingly touching a patron at a "sexually oriented business," according to the court documents. Ohio law prohibits anyone who isn't a family member from touching a nude or semi-nude dancer.
Representatives for the Columbus Police Department did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment Thursday.
The Franklin County Sheriff's Office released a booking photo of Daniels on Thursday morning.
Court records show Daniels was released on bail after an individual named Denver Nicks posted $6,054 bond. She was seen leaving jail Thursday morning.
Daniels is scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning in Franklin County Municipal Court, according to court records.
PHOTO: Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, is seen in this booking photo in Franklin County, Ohio, July 12, 2018. (Franklin County Sheriff's Office)
Avenatti did not provide details on the “act" in question but he said Daniels was "arrested for allegedly allowing a customer to touch her while on stage in a non-sexual manner."
"Are you kidding me? They are devoting law enforcement resources to sting operations for this? There has to be higher priorities!!!" Avenatti tweeted. "We expect her to be released on bail shortly. We also expect that she will be charged with a misdemeanor for allowing 'touching.' We will vehemently contest all charges."
Avenatti said his client will plead "not guilty" to the three misdemeanor charges. He also released the following statement via Twitter on her behalf: "As a result of what happened last night, I will unfortunately be unable to go forward with tonight's scheduled performance. I deeply apologize to my fans in Columbus."
Daniels has said she had sex with Trump once in 2006 and was later paid off to keep quiet about it. Trump, who was married to his current wife, Melania, at the time, has repeatedly denied the affair occurred.
Trump's then-personal attorney, Michael Cohen, had Daniels sign a non-disclosure agreement about the alleged affair just weeks before the 2016 election. Daniels filed a lawsuit against Trump and Cohen late last year, seeking to be released from the hush agreement.
Cohen has admitted paying Daniels $130,000 shortly before the election. In a statement emailed to ABC News in February, Cohen said it was a "private transaction" using his "own personal funds" that were paid to Daniels in 2016.
Daniels filed a new lawsuit in June against Cohen and her former lawyer, Keith Davidson, who represented her when she signed the non-disclosure agreement. The suit alleges that Davidson betrayed Daniels while still representing her by communicating and coordinating with Cohen for Trump's benefit.

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