July 27, 2018 / 3:46 PM / 19 days ago

Judge to hear request for gag order against Stormy Daniels' lawyer

LOS ANGELES, July 27 (Reuters) - Attorneys for Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump, are expected to ask a federal judge in Los Angeles on Friday to issue a gag order against the lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Daniels, whose allegation of a sexual encounter with Trump made her a household name, is suing to void a non-disclosure agreement under which Cohen paid her $130,000 not to discuss her alleged relationship with Trump in 2006 and 2007.

Trump has denied he had an affair with Daniels, saying she was paid to stop “false and extortionist accusations.”

Cohen’s lawyer, Brent Blakely, in a court filing in June asked the federal judge hearing Daniels’ lawsuit to prohibit her attorney, Michael Avenatti, from speaking publicly about the case. Avenatti often has appeared in the media and been critical of Trump.

“As this Court has probably already surmised, Mr. Avenatti’s actions are mainly driven by his seemingly unquenchable thirst for publicity,” the motion said.

Cohen and Blakely accused Avenatti of violating California rules of conduct for attorneys by “routinely denigrating” Cohen with claims of criminal behavior.

Avenatti has described the motion for the gag order as baseless.

“Mr. Cohen seeks to impose a prior restraint on speech, the most highly disfavored and extraordinary remedy curtailing First Amendment rights under the law,” Avenatti wrote in a June court filing.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has sued Trump for defamation in a separate case. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Tom Brown)

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