Ex-Playboy centerfold sues a top fundraiser for Trump
By MICHAEL BALSAMO, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former Playboy centerfold model is suing Elliott Broidy, a top fundraiser for President Donald Trump, along with her former lawyer and the attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels.
Shera Bechard's lawsuit was filed Friday in Los Angeles. Last spring, Broidy disclosed that he and Bechard had an affair and he agreed to pay her $1.6 million as part of a confidentiality agreement.
The suit also names Bechard's former attorney, Keith Davidson, and Michael Avenatti, who is the attorney for Daniels and a frequent Trump critic. Daniels is suing Trump over a confidentiality agreement following a 2006 affair that he denies.
A judge granted Bechard's request to file her lawsuit under seal on Friday, so details aren't public.
However, in requesting the seal, Bechard cited a Wall Street Journal story from last weekend that said Broidy had stopped making payments to her because Davidson had discussed details of the confidentiality agreement with Avenatti.
Broidy's attorney, Chris Clark, told the newspaper that he was withholding a $200,000 payment because of an alleged "breach" of the agreement. He said Broidy was "specifically paying for confidentiality" and that he can "prove there was an intentional breach that renders the contract null and void."
Broidy was a deputy finance chairman for the Republican National Committee but resigned in April after the affair and confidentiality agreement were disclosed.
Broidy's spokesman, Eric Rose, said Friday that "Elliott has followed the terms of the agreement and it's disappointing others did not."
Avenatti said he has never communicated with her before and urged her attorney to unseal the lawsuit. He is seeking to force Bechard to answer questions about the lawsuit under oath next week.
"I have no idea why I would be named in this lawsuit unless it is a ploy by Ms. Bechard to get publicity," Avenatti said in a statement on Twitter.
Dave Wedge, a spokesman for Davidson, declined to comment on the lawsuit, but has previously said the attorney "has never breached any agreement or client confidentiality in this case."