Keith Davidson, the former attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels, is now suing his former client, contending she lied about his role in events surrounding the $130,000 hush deal she signed with President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer just prior to the 2016 election.
His action comes in response to a lawsuit Daniels filed against him earlier this week, accusing him of failing to protect her interests. Daniels has alleged that Davidson was secretly communicating and colluding with Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, behind her back, both before and after the agreement was reached, acting as a “puppet” for Trump.
Davidson countered that he “ethically and strenuously” advocated for her goals of “monetizing” her alleged sexual encounter with Trump and took isssue with Daniels' characterization.
“Davidson specifically objects to and denies the false, scurrilous and inflammatory statement that he is Cohen and/or Trump’s ‘puppet,’” reads his response filed Thursday to her lawsuit.
The two traded legal blows in an increasingly hostile and crowded courtroom battle playing out on both coasts — all occurring as Cohen is facing a federal investigation into a private company he formed that made the hush payment to Daniels.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, had reportedly been in discussions with multiple national media outlets in the days and weeks before signing the deal with Cohen. She alleges that she had a sexual encounter with Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in 2006. Trump denies the allegation.
Her lawsuit cites a series of January 2018 text exchanges between Cohen and Davidson in which they work to arrange a TV appearance for Daniels after the Wall Street Journal revealed the once-secret hush agreement. She alleges Cohen and Davidson were trying to get her “to provide a false interview and lie to the American people to serve the best interests of Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen.”
But Davidson fired back on Thursday, calling those allegations “scurrilous and inflammatory” and insisting that he had always put Daniels interests above all else.
“Contrary to the assertions in her complaint, [Daniels] was eager to appear on ‘Hannity,’” Davidson’s court filing states, “as she stated her desire to ‘increase her public exposure’ and thus her earning capacity.”
He argues he promoted her “stated goals,” which he said were to “ensure that she could make as much money as possible” without having to return the $130,000 in settlement funds.
He also accused Daniels and her current attorney, Michael Avenatti — in a counter-claim for defamation — of making “countless reckless and false statements” about him. Avenatti called Davidson’s defamation claim “patently false.”
An attorney for Michael Cohen, Brent Blakely, told ABC News in a statement that Daniels’ latest lawsuit “appears to be just another one of her publicity stunts to attract media attention to herself, her controversial lawyer, and her ongoing tour of adult entertainment establishments.”