Federal investigators associated with the FBI and the Mueller investigation have raided the offices of President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen and seized communications between Cohen and his clients.
A former Playboy model who claims to have had an affair and became pregnant by a top fundraiser for President Donald Trump claims the president’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was “recruited” in the case to act as a fixer.
The details of Shera Bechard’s alleged affair with GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy and the hush agreement she says she signed to keep the affair private were made public Tuesday after a federal judge unsealed a lawsuit she had filed last month with her attorney Peter Stris.
The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles targets Broidy, her former attorney, Keith Davidson, and Michael Avenatti, an attorney representing Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who claims to have had an affair with Trump.
The lawsuit claims Broidy stopped paying the agreed-upon $200,000 installments as part of their $1.6 million agreement because details of the agreement were leaked from Davidson to Avenatti, who then tweeted about it.
Bechard charges that Broidy’s refusal to pay is a breach of the agreement. She is asking for the remainder of the payments, $1.2 million.
Broidy, a Los Angeles-based investor who served as the RNC’s deputy national finance chairman, resigned in April after details of the affair were made public. He acknowledged a “consensual relationship” with the woman and called all the publicity “unfortunate.”
In the lawsuit, Bechard says she first met Davidson in October 2017 when she was seven weeks pregnant with Broidy’s child. Details of what was discussed in their meeting were redacted in the lawsuit.
Davidson also represented Daniels and Karen McDougal, a Playboy model who also claims to have had an affair with Trump. Both women have accused Davidson of working with Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, to silence them and create unfair agreements that catered to Trump.
Bechard also claims that unbeknownst to her, Davidson was working with Cohen and he was “recruited” to “solve” Broidy’s problem, according to the lawsuit.
Cohen’s business practices, including his role in the hush agreements, is now part of a federal investigation.
Bechard says Davidson did not accurately portray details of the agreement she signed in December, including not allowing her to have a copy, and took a 35 percent cut of all the payments she received.
“Despite his fiduciary and ethical duties to his client, Mr. Davidson treated Ms. Bechard’s claims as a commodity to be traded for his own financial gain,” the lawsuit says.
She says $1.6 million was the agreed-upon amount because it was the total of what Broidy would have had to pay in child support.
The complaint says Davidson told her the agreement and money wasn’t in exchange “to have an abortion but rather to give up her rights to sue Mr. Broidy and to not to talk about the relationship.”
After signing the agreement, Bechard did have an abortion, she says in the lawsuit.
She claims she did not want details of the affair released but her name, the pregnancy and the agreement were publicized after Davidson disclosed the deal to Avenatti.
Avenatti tweeted some details of the deal and, the following day, the Wall Street Journal included Bechard’s name in a story about the affair and agreement.
The lawsuit says Davidson violated his ethical duties and disrupted the payments she was promised by Broidy. It also accuses Avenatti of intentionally posting details of the agreement to disrupt the agreement and gain exposure and “public promotion” for publicizing the information first.
In an email to The Associated Press, Eric Rose, a spokesman for Broidy, said: “Given the confidentiality issues, Elliott is going to let his legal teams court filings speak for themselves.”
After the lawsuit was unsealed, Avenatti took to Twitter and said he did not know the agreement was confidential and he didn’t breach any attorney-client privilege because Bechard wasn’t his client.
“I never had any duty to her & never knew the terms were confidential,” Avenatti said. He then threatened Bechard and Stris, her attorney.
“When I am ultimately exonerated in this case because I did nothing wrong, I am coming after you, your firm, & your client for malicious prosecution,” he wrote on Twitter. “Good luck.”
Contributing: Associated Press.
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