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A crowdfunding campaign started by the porn actress who goes by the name Stormy Daniels—and who claims to have had an affair with President Donald Trump—passed the quarter million-dollar mark on Monday.
Stephanie Clifford, who has used Stormy Daniels as a stage name, launched a page on CrowdJustice last week asking for donations to help her as she tries to “to speak honestly and openly to the American people about my relationship” with Trump, which she has alleged started after she met the married mogul at a golf tournament in 2006.
Clifford signed a $130,000 nondisclosure agreement in 2016 promising to keep the affair quiet, the Wall Street Journal reported, but she’s now suing to be let out of her contract on the grounds that Trump never personally signed it. She also says on her CrowdJustice page that she offered to return the money in return for being allowed to talk publicly.
But Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen are pushing back, arguing that Daniels owes President Trump $20 million — $1 million for every time Daniels has broken the pact, according to Vox.
The actress wrote on CrowdJustice that she can’t afford to fight “intimidation and tactics used against me” alone. Specifically, she said, she needs cash to pay for legal expenses, security and damages in case she loses her lawsuit.
More than 8,100 people have donated to her campaign, which had reached $254,062 by late afternoon on Monday. The donations were generally small, just $10 or $25, but many were accompanied by supportive comments like “You go girl!” and “Bring him down!”
“We are very grateful for the reaction of the public thus far and are hopeful the donations will continue,” Clifford’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, tells Money. “In light of the vindictive decision by the president to sue my client for $20 million, we will need all the help we can get.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has referred most questions about the allegations to Trump’s personal counsel. But in comments at a briefing on March 7, she did appear to acknowledge both the payment and the surrounding legal dispute.
Sanders said she thought Trump didn’t know his lawyer paid Clifford, adding that he’s “made very well clear that none of these allegations are true.”
The president himself has not tweeted about it.