Playboy model Shera Bechard on Friday filed a sealed lawsuit against Elliott Broidy, the former GOP fundraiser she claims impregnated her, and against the current and former lawyers for porn star Stormy Daniels, days after Broidy’s lawyer said he would cease making installment payments on a $1.6 million hush-money settlement with Bechard.
The specific allegations of Bechard’s complaint are not public, but a sealing motion filed in connection with it in Los Angeles County Superior Court cite Broidy’s plan to stop paying Bechard for her silence about their affair.
Broidy’s spokesman told CNBC, “Elliott has followed the terms of the agreement, and it’s disappointing others did not.”
But Peter Stris, a lawyer for Bechard, wrote in a response to Avenatti:
Avenatti immediately fired back at Stris’ claim:
“This is a serious matter that our team will litigate aggressively and responsibly on behalf of our client, @SheraBechard,” Stris wrote in another tweet. “She deserves no less.”
Stris was not available for comment when contacted by CNBC.
Bechard’s motion to seal the case for 45 days says that it will give the defendants time to “file any motions they feel are appropriate to permanently seal the complaint.”
The motion also notes “some of the circumstances” relevant to Bechard’s lawsuit that “have been described in the press.”
Those include a Wall Street Journal story this week which noted that Broidy, according to his lawyer Chris Clark, planned to withhold the third, $200,000 installment due Bechard last Sunday “in response to an alleged breach of the nondisclosure agreement.”
“Mr. Clark said Ms. Bechard’s lawyer at the time of the agreement, Keith Davidson, improperly discussed the hush-money agreement with another lawyer, who has replaced Mr. Davidson in representing Stephanie Clifford, a former adult-film star” who performed under the name Stormy Daniels, according to the Journal story cited in Bechard’s motion.
“Elliott specifically was paying for confidentiality that would shield his family from the embarrassing mistake he made,” Clark told the Journal. “We can prove there was an intentional breach that renders the contract null and void.”
Davidson has denied violating the confidentiality agreement he negotiated with Broidy for Bechard.
Davidson separately negotiated a $130,000 hush-money payment on the eve of the 2016 presidential election from Michael Cohen, who at the time was the personal lawyer for Donald Trump, the winner of that election. Daniels has said the payment was in exchange for her silence about an affair she had with Trump in 2006.
The White House denies Trump had sex with Daniels. But Trump later admitted reimbursing Cohen for the payment to the porn actress, after initially telling reporters he did not know about the deal.
Cohen also had negotiated the hush-money deal for Broidy with Davidson in exchange for Bechard’s silence about her affair with Broidy, a California venture capitalist.
Broidy’s involvement with Bechard came to light in April, on the heels of an FBI raid on the offices, home and hotel room of Cohen in New York.
The Journal first broke the news of Broidy’s payoff to Bechard a day after Avenatti tweeted a cryptic message about Cohen negotiating a nondisclosure agreement with an unnamed woman.