Avenatti Says He’s Been Sued by Ex-Playboy Model Who Was Paid Off by RNC Fundraiser

(Bloomberg) -- Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing adult-film star Stephanie Clifford in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, said he’s been sued by former Playboy model Shera Bechard, but that he doesn’t know why because the lawsuit was sealed by the court.

All that’s visible from the order sealing Bechard’s complaint is who she’s targeting. The first named defendant is former GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy, with whom she had an affair and reached a $1.6 million confidentiality agreement in 2017. She’s also going after the lawyer who represented her in the Broidy deal: Keith Davidson -- who also represented Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, in her 2016 non-disclosure agreement to keep quiet about a tryst she claims to have had with Trump. Davidson’s law firm and almost two dozen unnamed individuals are also listed as defendants.

Broidy stopped paying Bechard recently -- there were supposed to be eight installments -- claiming the agreement was voided after Davidson broke the confidentiality terms by sharing information with Avenatti, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

Avenatti posted the sealing order -- filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday -- on Twitter and tweeted another statement that he didn’t know the nature of the allegations. Broidy’s affair came out in a separate case involving Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer who also served alongside Broidy as a deputy chairman on the Republican National Committee’s finance committee. Both Cohen and Broidy have resigned from the RNC.

Cohen’s work with Broidy came out after the FBI raided his office and residences and he fought to have some of the material classified as privileged. He represented Broidy on the hush-money payment to Bechard and handled the Clifford NDA directly.

Avenatti and Chris Clark, a lawyer for Broidy, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Peter Stris, a lawyer for Bechard, didn’t respond to messages but posted on Twitter that ‘‘our team will litigate aggressively and responsibly on behalf of our client.”

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