A lawyer representing adult film actress Stephanie Clifford – who performs under the name Stormy Daniels – confirmed that his client had a sexual relationship with President Donald Trump years ago.

"Yes," Michael Avenatti said on the Today show, answering the question on every Trump-watcher's mind.

Daniels had previously refused to say out loud what news outlets had reported breathlessly, citing a nondisclosure agreement that she signed in exchange for US$130,000 in hush money just days before the 2016 election.

Porn actress Stormy Daniels' lawyer confirmed today that
Porn actress Stormy Daniels' lawyer confirmed today that "yes," his client had a sexual relationship with Donald Trump a decade ago. Photo / Today

But yesterday she sued the president, alleging that while she and both of their attorneys signed it, he never did.

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"We look forward to sunlight serving as a disinfectant," Avenatti told DailyMail.com today.

It's unclear whether Trump and his lawyer have a signed copy.

Daniels says Trump's long-time personal attorney Michael Cohen has continued to try to silence her about her "intimate" relationship with Trump that ran from 2006 to 2007 and began shortly after first lady Melania gave birth to their son Barron.

Her lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court includes copies of the nondisclosure agreement – in which she and the president are referred to by aliases – and a side letter that identifies her and Trump by name.

Donald Trump and porn Stormy Daniels aka Stephanie Clifford pose together in 2006; she says her agreement with him to stay quiet about their alleged affair should be tossed out.
Donald Trump and porn Stormy Daniels aka Stephanie Clifford pose together in 2006; she says her agreement with him to stay quiet about their alleged affair should be tossed out.

Avenatti said Daniels is prepared to return the payment, which Cohen insists he made out of his own pocket.

"I think she may have to," he said, "and she is prepared to do that."

But "in light of the amount of misinformation that's out there, some of which has been disseminated by Mr Cohen and others," he insisted, "she believes it's important that the public learn the truth about what happened."

Avenatti also said he doubts that Cohen, and not Trump, paid his client off.

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"We think it's highly questionable as to whether it came from his personal funds ... there's no question the president knew about it at the time," he told NBC's audience.

"The idea that an attorney would go off on his own without his clients knowledge and engage in this type of negotiation and enter into this type of agreement, quite honestly I think is ludicrous."

The lawsuit filed yesterday lists Donald Trump, as well as an alias he used for the nondisclosure agreement,
The lawsuit filed yesterday lists Donald Trump, as well as an alias he used for the nondisclosure agreement, "David Dennison."
Attached as exhibits in the suit is the NDA, as well as a side letter from October 28, 2016.; where Trump aka David Dennison would have signed was left blank.
Attached as exhibits in the suit is the NDA, as well as a side letter from October 28, 2016.; where Trump aka David Dennison would have signed was left blank.
All of the papers attached as exhibits in the lawsuit were unsigned by a not-yet-president Trump.
All of the papers attached as exhibits in the lawsuit were unsigned by a not-yet-president Trump.
The pages were signed however by Trump's attorney Michael Cohen as well as by Clifford's attorney at the time.
The pages were signed however by Trump's attorney Michael Cohen as well as by Clifford's attorney at the time.

Avenatti said on CBS This Morning that Daniels is "absolutely not" trying to sell her story to the highest bidder. But he admitted that "I don't know whether she's going to ultimately seek payment or not."

The agreement at the center of the legal dispute was signed by Clifford – using her professional name – and Cohen on October 28, 2016.

The copy included with Tuesday's lawsuit features a blank space where Trump would have signed.

The suit says that Cohen tried to keep Clifford from talking about her relationship with Trump as recently as February 27, 2018.

Michael Avenatti said on the Today show what his client, Stormy Daniels, had been coy about for months. Photo / AP
Michael Avenatti said on the Today show what his client, Stormy Daniels, had been coy about for months. Photo / AP

"To be clear, the attempts to intimidate Ms. Clifford into silence and 'shut her up' in order to 'protect Mr Trump' continue unabated," according to the suit.

"On or about February 27, 2018, Mr Trump's attorney Mr Cohen surreptitiously initiated a bogus arbitration proceeding against Ms. Clifford in Los Angeles."

Avenatti is asking the court to declare that the "hush agreement" and the side agreement "were never formed, and therefore do not exist, because, among other things, Mr Trump never signed the agreements.

"In the alternative, Plaintiff seeks an order of this Court declaring that the agreements in the forms set out in Exhibits 1 and 2 are invalid, unenforceable, and/or void under the doctrine of unconscionably."

The suit also alleges that the president must be aware that Cohen is trying to keep Clifford quiet because, as a member of the New York bar, he is required to keep his client informed at all times.

"[I]t strains credulity to conclude that Mr Cohen is acting on his own accord and without the express approval and knowledge of his client Mr Trump."

The 2016 agreement paid Daniels US$130,000, days before the presidential election to keep her from disclosing any confidential information about Trump or his sexual partners to anyone beyond a short list of individuals she'd already told about the relationship.

She was also forbidden to share any texts or photos from Trump.

Avenatti said that he was "not at liberty" to say whether or not Daniels still has them.

The president has never addressed the alleged relationship publicly, and the White House has side-stepped questions about it with spokesperson Raj Shah telling members of the press he had never asked the president about it.

Cohen has acknowledged the payment, and has previously claimed it came from his own funds – but has never said what the payment was for.

In the suit, Clifford also alleges that in January 2018, Cohen, "concerned the truth would be disclosed ... through intimidation and coercive tactics, forced Ms Clifford into signing a false statement wherein she stated that reports of her relationship with Mr Trump were false."