The saga swirling around Stormy Daniels is intensifying, as the adult film star who allegedly had an affair with President Donald Trump over a decade ago has reportedly taped an as-of-yet-unaired segment of 60 Minutes for CBS in which she ends her relative silence on the matter.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, last week sued President Trump in a lawsuit that claims an existing “hush agreement” aimed at keeping her quiet about their purported romance is no longer valid because Trump never signed the agreement. The complaint filed last week in Los Angeles asks a judge to void the agreement. It comes after the president’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, reportedly won a temporary restraining order against Clifford last month in a private arbitration process aimed at preventing her from publicly discussing any relationship with Trump.
Clifford’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, argues that his client’s original agreement with Trump and Cohen is invalid—along with a requirement stipulating that any ensuing disputes be handled in private arbitration—and that Clifford should be allowed to speak publicly about the alleged affair. Clifford reportedly received $130,000 directly from Cohen in 2016, shortly before the U.S. presidential election, to remain quiet about the alleged sexual relationship she’s said she had with Trump. The affair started in 2006, a year after Trump married First Lady Melania Trump. Cohen and Trump both deny that the president ever had an affair with Clifford.
Clifford, however, is now offering to return the $130,000 she says she received from Trump’s attorney in exchange for her silence. The actress and director on Monday sent a letter to Cohen in which she offered to wire the money to any account chosen by the president, according to the New York Times. Cohen said last month that he paid Clifford the $130,000 out of his own pocket, apparently from a home equity line. It is still unclear whether or not Trump was aware of the payment, though Cohen said he was not reimbursed. Clifford and Avenatti claim that her original agreement with Trump included a provision declaring the agreement “null and void” if she returned the payment.
Both Clifford’s recent lawsuit and her offer of reimbursement seem to be moves aimed at paving the way for her to speak publicly, and at length, about her alleged affair with the president. Over the weekend, it was reported that CBS News’ Anderson Cooper had taped an interview with Clifford for a 60 Minutes segment that the network has not yet officially announced, though BuzzFeed reported on Sunday that CBS plans to air the interview on the next episode of 60 Minutes on Sunday, Mar. 18.
Avenatti even hinted at the interview with a tweeted photograph of himself, Clifford, and Cooper last week.
Is the White House trying to block it?
BuzzFeed also reported that attorneys associated with Trump are considering filing a legal injunction aimed at preventing CBS from airing the interview with Clifford, citing an anonymous source. (When asked about potential litigation, Cohen referred BuzzFeed to his own attorney, Larry Rosen, whose firm has also worked for both the Trump campaign and the Trump Organization.) With respect to potential legal action regarding the 60 Minutes interview, Clifford told the Washington Post “we will see what happens.” However, the Post also noted that Clifford’s nondisclosure agreement is unlikely to force CBS to squash the airing of any interview with the adult film star, because the network itself was not involved in that previous legal agreement. Fortune contacted Rosen seeking comment and we will update this article with any response.