A day after being hit with a lawsuit by Stormy Daniels, her former lawyer slapped back Thursday with a countersuit alleging that he was defamed by the pornographic film actress and her current counsel.
Attorney Keith Davidson cited a tweet sent by Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, on Wednesday in which he suggested Davidson was once arrested for extortion. “Watch him try now and distract away from his unethical conduct,” Avenatti wrote. “Ms. Daniels deserved better.”
“Keith Davidson has never been arrested for extortion as falsely alleged by defendants,” his countersuit said. The lawsuit added that the statement “and similar ones” by Daniels and Avenatti “were made with hatred and ill will toward [Davidson] and the design and intent to injure him, his good name, his reputation, employment and employability.”
The claim of extortion apparently referred to an FBI sting operation involving Hulk Hogan.
In 2012, Davidson sought $300,000 for a client for a secretly taped video of the pro wrestler having sex, law enforcement records show. Davidson met Hogan in a Florida hotel room — unaware it was wired with recording devices monitored by FBI agents in an adjacent room.
As soon as Hogan’s lawyer handed Davidson a phony check for $150,000, the supposed first installment, FBI agents stormed in and detained him, according to the records. Davidson was not charged with criminal wrongdoing in that case.
Daniels, in the lawsuit filed Wednesday, claimed that Davidson went behind her back to pursue President Trump’s interests in the scandal over an alleged one-night stand in 2006. Citing text messages between Davidson and Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen, she accused her lawyer of colluding with Cohen to her detriment. Daniels called Davidson a puppet of Trump and Cohen.
Cohen has acknowledged paying Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about her liaison with Trump.
Davidson denied any impropriety and his countersuit Thursday issued a point-by-point denial. He accused Cohen of illegally taping his phone conversations. Cohen attorney Brent Blakely could not be reached for comment.
Davidson said Daniels, while his client, expressed more interest in making sure she kept the $130,000 than ensuring the public knew the truth about her relationship with Trump — which she now cites as justification for speaking out.
In an emailed statement, Avenatti lashed back at Davidson, calling him “a proven liar.”
“He is an embarrassment to the profession and seems to have forgotten what the attorney-client privilege is all about,” Avenatti said. “We look forward to having his frivolous claims thrown out of court.”
Meantime, in Washington, a spokeswoman for First Lady Melania Trump pushed back on an assertion from Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump’s outside counsel, that she “believes her husband” in denying an affair with Daniels.
“I don’t believe Mrs. Trump has ever discussed her thoughts on anything with Mr. Giuliani,” spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told the New York Times.
Giuliani made his statement at a financial conference in Tel Aviv. “She believes her husband, and she doesn’t think it’s true,” Giuliani said.