Stormy Daniels has filed a federal civil lawsuit against Ohio vice squad police officers, claiming her 2018 arrest while performing at a strip club was an intimidation attempt fueled by political motivations. Authorities arrested the adult film star on July 11th at Sirens Gentlemen’s Club in Columbus — along with two other club employees — on suspicion of touching customers, including undercover police officers, and pressing a detective’s face into her breasts.
Daniels is seeking more than $1 million in compensatory damages and more than $1 million in punitive damages. The suit, filed Monday with attorney Michael Avenatti, alleges false arrest, malicious prosecution, civil conspiracy, abuse of process and defamation.
“We look forward to exposing the facts relating to the outrageous conduct of these rogue officers, who abused their power and the badge to further a political vendetta against Stormy,” Avenatti tweeted in a statement. “Here in America, unlike in Russia, we don’t arrest citizens for political purposes in an effort to silence them. Each and every individual who had a hand in this bogus arrest, no matter their position power, will be held accountable.”
The suit states that two of the detectives involved in her arrest are registered Republicans and a third is a well-known Trump supporter. Daniels accuses the vice officers of targeting due to her political beliefs, and the division with helping cover up the arrest motivations.
The charges against Daniels were dropped less than 24 hours after the arrest, with prosecutors citing a lack of probable cause. The two other women who were arrested at the strip club, Brittany Walters and Miranda Panda, had their charges dropped – and are also suing the police department.
Daniels has frequently discussed having an alleged affair with Donald Trump in 2006 shortly after he married his current wife, Melania — and she famously detailed the incident in her 2018 memoir, Full Disclosure. Trump has repeatedly denied the affair.
In October, a federal judge dismissed Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Trump, six months after she sued the president for tweeting that her allegation of being threatened was a “total con job.” She was ordered to pay Trump $293,052.33 in legal fees.
Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, who admitted to paying Daniels a $130,000 hush-money payment, had Daniels sign a non-disclosure agreement about the alleged affair prior to the 2016 presidential election. Daniels has since filed two lawsuits: one in 2017 against both Trump and Cohen, aiming to be released from the agreement; and another in June 2018 against Cohen and her former attorney Keith Davidson, alleging that Davidson aided Trump by secretly coordinating with Cohen.