13:35, June 08 32 0 abajournal.com

2018-06-08 13:35:04
Stormy Daniels’ former lawyer claims Avenatti defamed him, Cohen violated his privacy rights

Stormy Daniels’ former lawyer, Keith Davidson, has responded to her lawsuit alleging collusion with Michael Cohen with a counterclaim against the porn star and a crossclaim against President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.

Davidson removed the suit to federal court on Thursday, and filed a counterclaim alleging defamation by Daniels and her current lawyer, Michael Avenatti, report the Wall Street Journal, CNN and the San Diego Union-Tribune. Davidson also filed a crossclaim against Cohen that claims he illegally recorded Davidson’s phone calls.

Davidson said he represented Daniels zealously and ethically to accomplish her stated goal of monetizing her reported sexual relationship with Trump. An allegation that he acted as a “puppet” for Cohen “is an outrageously false and historically revisionist statement which will not and cannot be proven true at any point,” he said in his answer to the complaint.

The counterclaim and crossclaim were filed one day after Daniels filed a lawsuit claiming Davidson and Cohen had colluded to keep the lid on her story about an alleged affair with Trump. The suit included texts between Davidson and Cohen, and sought any recordings of phone conversations between the two lawyers.

Daniels had previously filed a lawsuit against Cohen seeking to void a $130,000 agreement requiring her to keep quiet about her alleged relationship with Trump. She later amended the suit to claim Cohen defamed her with a statement that, she alleged, implied she had been lying.

Now Davidson is claiming defamation over a tweet posted Wednesday by Avenatti that referred to a Daily Beast article. The tweet said: “Keith Davidson should have been charged after his arrest for extortion not long ago. He is a disgrace to the profession. Watch him now try and distract away from his own unethical conduct. Ms. Daniels deserved better.”

Davidson has never been arrested for extortion, his countersuit says. The legal filing claims that Avenatti “has been on a crusade to falsely vilify Davidson.”

The Daily Beast article said wrestler Hulk Hogan had alleged in a lawsuit that the FBI had arrested Davidson and another person in a sting operation after Davidson sought money for a client in exchange for Hogan sex tapes. Davidson was never charged, the article said.

The crossclaim against Cohen said Davidson never consented to his phone calls being recorded, and any secret phone recordings violated a California law requiring the consent of all the parties to a recording.

The crossclaim adds that the relationship between Cohen and Davidson “was professional and adversarial.” Davidson’s first interaction with Cohen “was telephonic and began as a heated conversation with Cohen screaming at Davidson” about Daniels’ purported efforts to sell information about her purported affair, the crossclaim said.

Keith Davidson should have been charged after his arrest for extortion not long ago. He is a disgrace to the profession. Watch him now try and distract away from his own unethical conduct. Ms. Daniels deserved better. https://t.co/wd6rfnFCuQ via @thedailybeast