Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing porn star Stormy Daniels, said he is representing three additional women he says were paid hush money before President Donald Trump was elected. Avenatti made no assertions about whether the women were personally involved with Trump or someone close to him.
Speaking on a panel in the Southern California suburb of West Hollywood on Thursday, Avenatti announced that the women were paid to refrain from going public with their accounts, but did not disclose what their stories entailed, according to the local ABC News affiliate KABC .
Avenatti said he was in the process of getting more information on their claims, but that one of the women claimed she was pregnant at the time she was paid.
Here’s Avenatti talking about it with reporters:
Avenatti is already representing Daniels, who claims to have had a sexual affair with Trump in 2006 and was paid $130,000 to sign a nondisclosure agreement. Daniels has since sought to void the agreement and filed a defamation lawsuit with Avenatti against Trump and Cohen.
Cohen admitted he personally made a $130,000 payment to Daniels with his own money, but denied that Trump or his campaign was involved in the transaction. The payment was made a month before the 2016 US presidential election and raised suspicions that it served as a hush-money payment.
The speculation about whether Trump was directly involved in the transaction reached new heights on Tuesday, after Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, released an audio recording of a conversation between Trump and Cohen.
The audio recording, which abruptly cuts off, appeared to feature a discussion in which Trump and Cohen could be heard discussing how to pay former Playboy model Karen McDougal, another woman who claimed she had an affair with Trump.
Tabloid publisher National Enquirer, a subsidiary of American Media, Inc., reportedly paid $150,000 to McDougal for the rights to her story about the alleged affair, but never published it. David Pecker, the CEO of that company, is a close friend of Trump and Cohen and reportedly admitted to squashing some negative stories about Trump.