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    Stormy Daniels Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Donald Trump

    Lawyers for the pornographic film star Stephanie Clifford filed a defamation lawsuit against President Trump on Monday, based on statements he made on Twitter two weeks ago that questioned her credibility.
    Ms. Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, released a sketch on April 17 of a man she said had threatened her in 2011. She said the man had approached her in Las Vegas, telling her to “leave Trump alone.”
    Mr. Trump’s advisers had encouraged him to stay silent about Ms. Clifford, who has said she had an affair with the future president in 2006. For many months, he heeded the advice. But he finally spoke up after the sketch was released, tweeting that it was “a total con job.”
    The tweet accompanied a post from another Twitter user who compared the sketch image to Ms. Clifford’s husband.
    In the lawsuit, filed Monday in United States District Court in the Southern District of New York, Ms. Clifford’s lawyers said the tweet accused Ms. Clifford of unlawful behavior “in that it effectively states that Ms. Clifford falsely accused an individual of committing a crime against her when no such crime occurred.”
    “Mr. Trump knew that his false, disparaging statement would be read by people around the world, as well as widely reported, and that Ms. Clifford would be subjected to threats of violence, economic harm, and reputational damage as a result,” the lawsuit says.
    Mr. Trump’s representatives have denied that he had a sexual encounter with Ms. Clifford. The White House did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on Monday afternoon.
    The suit, which seeks unspecified damages exceeding $75,000, adds another layer to a multifaceted legal dispute.
    Ms. Clifford sued in March to get out of a nondisclosure agreement she signed the month before the 2016 election, claiming it was void because Mr. Trump had not signed it. Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, paid her $130,000 in October 2016 to keep quiet about her claims.
    Last week, Mr. Cohen invoked his Fifth Amendment rights in her lawsuit, citing the “ongoing criminal investigation” into his business affairs. A federal judge in California ordered a three-month delay in the lawsuit on Friday, citing the likelihood that Mr. Cohen would be indicted.
    Ms. Clifford said the man who threatened her approached her in Las Vegas while she was with her daughter, saying: “That’s a beautiful little girl, it would be a shame if something happened to her mom.”