GOP Fundraiser Elliott Broidy Accused of Coercing Woman Into Having Abortion
(Bloomberg) -- Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy lost his fight to prevent the public from learning about allegations in a lawsuit by former Playboy model Shera Bechard that he coerced her into having an abortion after getting her pregnant.
Broidy is accused by Bechard in the lawsuit of breaching an agreement to pay her $1.6 million to keep quiet about their affair. The hush payment deal was negotiated on Broidy’s behalf by Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer who pleaded guilty last month to campaign finance violations related to payments to Stephanie Clifford, the adult movie star known as Stormy Daniels.
In a ruling Friday that allows Bechard’s claims to be made public over Broidy’s objections, California Superior Court Judge Elizabeth White granted Broidy’s request to strike allegations from the case going forward that aren’t relevant to the breach-of-contract dispute.
Among Bechard’s allegations are that Broidy refused to wear condoms and didn’t disclose to her that he had genital herpes until years after their sexual relationship, according to a court filing. The model also claimed that the Los Angeles money manager began hurting her during their sexual activities, and pushed her to drink excessively so that "she would be more compliant toward his physical abuse."
Bechard recalled Broidy telling her that he admired Trump’s "uncanny ability to sexually abuse women and get away with it."
Broidy said he will “seek all relief available to me under the settlement agreement against her and her attorneys.” He filed an emergency request with a state appeals court to block White’s ruling, but the documents had already been unsealed by the judge.
“This person tried to extract money from me by making up false, malicious and disgusting allegations," Broidy said in a statement. "I have acknowledged making the mistake of having an affair, and I entered a confidential agreement to protect my family’s privacy. I honored my agreement until her lawyer breached it."
Friday’s disclosures follow Broidy’s resignation as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee in April when his payments to Bechard became public. While some portions of the lawsuit were unsealed five weeks ago, Broidy fought to keep other sections under wraps, complaining of "false, salacious, and irrelevant claims."
Bechard claims Broidy made two installment payments of $200,000 each and stopped paying her after details of their affair were leaked by others. Broidy has said he offered to help Bechard financially after she decided not to continue the pregnancy.
The model also sued Michael Avenatti, Clifford’s lawyer, for disclosing details of the settlement that he got from her former attorney, Keith Davidson.
Avenatti won dismissal of two of the claims against him and said he will appeal the judge’s decision not to dismiss a third claim.
"I never should have been part of this lawsuit in the first place,” Avenatti said after the hearing, adding that Bechard’s lawyer will end up owing him money.
Last month, the Washington Post reported the Justice Department was investigating whether Broidy sought to sell his influence within the Trump administration to foreign officials in exchange for tens of millions of dollars.
Earlier this year, Broidy sued Qatar, alleging the Persian Gulf state was behind a hack of his computer that resulted in leaks to the media that depicted him as using his influence in the Trump administration to enrich himself and affect policy. A federal judge in Los Angeles threw out the claims last month.
The case is Bechard v. Broidy, BC712913, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County.
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