Los Angeles (AFP) – An American federal judge rejected Friday a request by President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer for a gag order to stop the attorney for adult film actress Stormy Daniels insulting him and talking about the case in media appearances.
US District Judge S. James Otero said Michael Cohen had failed to provide evidence that he would suffer “irreparable injury” without an immediate restraining order against Michael Avenatti.
Cohen filed his bid for a restraining order against Avenatti on Thursday, asking that he be stopped from giving interviews about Cohen and Daniels’s lawsuit.
Daniels — real name Stephanie Clifford — is suing Trump and Cohen, to nullify a 2016 non-disclosure agreement preventing her from speaking out about her alleged affair with Trump.
Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her silence. She is hoping to invalidate the non-disclosure agreement she signed days before the presidential election because, she argues, Trump never signed it.
Through White House officials, Trump has denied the affair, although Cohen has admitted paying Daniels $130,000 as part of the agreement. He initially said he used his own money to pay Daniels and was not reimbursed by Trump.
However, Trump — who initially denied knowledge of the payment — subsequently conceded that Cohen was reimbursed.
The lawsuit also accuses Cohen of defamation over comments he made about Daniels’s truthfulness.
Daniels filed a separate defamation suit against Trump in New York, alleging the president libeled her by saying she lied about a man who allegedly threatened her to keep her quiet about her alleged relationship with Trump.
The Los Angeles case is due back in court on June 21.