- Danny Moloshok/Reuters
- A playboy model sued a Republican fundraiser Friday over a $1.6 million hush-money agreement he reportedly ceased paying.
- Their arrangement was facilitated by President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen and Keith Davidson, the former attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels.
Shera Bechard, a former Playboy model, sued a prominent Republican financier, her former lawyer, and the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels in relation to a $1.6 million hush-money payment the financier reportedly stopped paying her, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Bechard sued Eliot Broidy, the financier; Keith Davidson, her former attorney; and Michael Avenatti, Daniels’s attorney, in California Superior Court. The lawsuit was filed under seal.
The Journal reported earlier this week that Broidy said he would stop the payments because Davidson allegedly disclosed information about the affair to Avenatti. Daniels, Avenatti’s client, alleges she had a 2006 affair with President Donald Trump, which he has denied.
Avenatti made reference in an April tweet to a hush-money agreement between a Republican donor and a woman that was similar to the one Daniels struck with Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, just prior to the election. The Journal reported on the deal between Broidy and Bechard the following day. Cohen and Davidson brokered the Bechard-Broidy deal, just as they brokered the Daniels arrangement.
Daniels is now suing Cohen and Trump to get out of her nondisclosure agreement. Her payment is also at the center of a criminal investigation into Cohen taking place in the Southern District of New York. The FBI sought records on the Daniels payment and payments to other women during April raids on Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room. Cohen is not named in Bechard’s lawsuit.
“Elliott has followed the terms of the agreement and it’s disappointing others did not,” Eric Rose, Broidy’s spokesman, told The Journal.
Davidson has previously denied violating the agreement.
Bechard’s attorney, Peter Stris, said in a statement that “the situation does not allow us to be as forthcoming with the press as we are able to be with the court.”
Broidy’s and Bechard’s agreement required him to pay her $1.6 million over two years, The Journal reported. Broidy had already paid $400,000 of that sum but did not make a third scheduled payment, which was due last Sunday.
Broidy resigned as deputy finance chairman for the Republican National Committee after the agreement was revealed, and he acknowledged the relationship.
Stris and Avenatti traded blows on Twitter after the lawsuit was filed. In a statement, Avenatti expressed his surprise at being included in the suit and urged Bechard and her lawyer “to unseal the lawsuit immediately and disclose ALL FACTS relating to her relationship, or lack thereof, with Mr. Broidy.”
In response, Stris tweeted at Avenatti.
“You understood that your previous actions might well lead to this when you called our firm and begged us not to sue you several days ago,” Stris said.
Avenatti responded, saying “that’s pretty funny” and “it never happened.”
“I called you after I saw your ridiculous threats in the press & you were afraid to return the call so you had someone else do it.” he said. “I told him at the time that there was no basis to sue me & asked what the basis was. I’m still waiting.”