In a statement Wednesday, Stormy Daniels said that her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, filed a defamation lawsuit against President Trump on her behalf “against my wishes.”
Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — said also that Avenatti has launched a crowdfunding campaign for her legal defense without her knowledge, and that she hasn’t decided if she will continue to retain his legal services.
“For months I’ve asked Michael Avenatti to give me accounting information about the fund my supporters so generously donated to for my safety and legal defense,” Daniels said in her statement, provided to The Daily Beast. “He has repeatedly ignored those requests. Days ago I demanded again, repeatedly, that he tell me how the money was being spent and how much was left. Instead of answering me, without my permission or even my knowledge Michael launched another crowdfunding campaign to raise money on my behalf. I learned about it on Twitter.”
“I haven’t decided yet what to do about legal representation moving forward. Michael has been a great advocate in many ways,” Daniels continued. “I’m tremendously grateful to him for aggressively representing me in my fight to regain my voice. But in other ways Michael has not treated me with the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client.”
Daniels also said that Avenatti has not treated her with “the respect and deference an attorney should show to a client.”
Asked for comment, Avenatti referred TheWrap to an October 8 interview Daniels gave to CNN, in which she told anchor Don Lemon she was in contact with her lawyer “almost three or four times a day sometimes,” and that Avenatti “always puts me first.”
Avenatti added a written statement saying: “I am and have always been Stormy’s biggest champion. I have personally sacrificed an enormous amount of money, time and energy toward assisting her because I believe in her. I have always been an open book with Stormy as to all aspects of her cases and she knows that. You need only look back at her numerous prior interviews where she states we talk and communicate multiple times every day about her cases.”
Avenatti continued: “The retention agreement Stormy signed back in February provided that she would pay me $100.00 and that any and all other monies raised via a legal fund would go toward my legal fees and costs. Instead, the vast majority of the money raised has gone toward her security expenses and similar other expenses. The most recent campaign was simply a refresh of the prior campaign, designed to help defray some of Stormy’s expenses.”