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Stormy Daniels arrested in Ohio strip club 'setup'- lawyer

Reuters logo Reuters 6 days ago Brendan O'Brien
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Stormy Daniels, the porn film star who said she had an affair with Donald Trump before he became U.S. president, was arrested in a strip club on Wednesday in what her lawyer said was a setup.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was arrested at a club in Columbus, Ohio, for allowing a customer to touch her while on stage, lawyer Michael Avenatti said on Twitter, describing the touching as "non-sexual."

She will plead not guilty to three misdemeanor charges, Avenatti said in a later post on Twitter.

"We will vehemently contest all charges," he wrote.

Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, the porn film star who said she had an affair with Donald Trump before he became U.S. president, is shown in this booking photo released by Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Columbus, Ohio, U.S., July 12, 2018. © Franklin County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, the porn film star who said she had an affair with Donald Trump before he became U.S. president, is shown in this booking photo released by Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Columbus, Ohio, U.S., July 12, 2018.

Avenatti said he expected his client to be released on bail. She is scheduled to appear in court on Friday, NBC News' affiliate in Washington said, citing court documents.

Daniels has said she had sex with Trump in 2006 and that the president's personal attorney Michael Cohen paid her $130,000 shortly before Trump's election to keep it secret.

Cohen has confirmed he made the payment.

In May, Trump, who has denied the affair, said Daniels was paid to stop "false and extortionist accusations."

Prosecutors are investigating Cohen for possible crimes related to his business dealings, a source familiar with the investigation told Reuters in April. He has not been charged.

Daniels has filed two lawsuits against Trump, one to get out of a non-disclosure agreement she signed in October 2016 ahead of the November election in exchange for the $130,000, and another for defamation.

Daniels has been on tour since last winter, appearing at strip clubs across the United States. She was due to perform at the Sirens Gentlemen's Club on Wednesday and Thursday, according to its website.

However, Avenatti, in a post on Twitter early on Thursday, cited an official statement from Daniels as saying: "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."

He had said earlier she was arrested during what he described as a sting operation.

"This was a setup & politically motivated. It reeks of desperation. We will fight all bogus charges," Avenatti said on Twitter.

Ohio law says that strip club patrons and nude or semi-nude employees are not allowed to touch each other. (Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in MILWAUKEE and Susan Heavey in WASHINGTON; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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