Stormy Daniels arrested at strip club, lawyer slams 'setup'

Daniels was released on bail early on Thursday. (Reuters/Mike Blake)

Daniels was released on bail early on Thursday. (Reuters/Mike Blake)

Adult film star Stormy Daniels, who is locked in a court battle with US president Donald Trump over their alleged affair, was arrested late Wednesday while performing at a strip club after allegedly “fondling” patrons, police said.

In what her lawyer dubbed a politically motivated set-up, Daniels was arrested without incident at the Sirens club in Columbus, Ohio after officers accused her of knowingly touching club patrons “in a specified anatomical area.”

According to an incident report published online by a local news outlet, two police detectives and an officer approached Daniels, who was topless and wearing a G-string, onstage after she was seen “using her bare breasts to smack the patrons” and “fondling the breasts of the female patrons.”

Daniels allegedly began holding her breasts against one female detective’s face, before then “forcing” the face of a male officer into her chest and “smacking his face with her bare breasts.”

She performed the same acts on a male officer after “fondling” his buttock and chest.

Ohio’s Community Defense Act prohibits touching a nude or semi-nude dancer in a club, besides members of the dancer’s immediate family.

Another officer in the back of the club went to get backup before arresting Daniels, who was released on bail early on Thursday.

“We will vehemently contest all charges,” her lawyer Michael Avenatti tweeted, saying Daniels would plead not guilty to three misdemeanor charges.

“This was a setup & politically motivated. It reeks of desperation. We will fight all bogus charges,” Avenatti said.

“They are devoting law enforcement resources to sting operations for this? There has to be higher priorities!!!”

Daniels’ arraignment is scheduled for Friday at Ohio’s Franklin County Municipal Court. She canceled a Thursday night performance in Columbus.

Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — is suing Trump and his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to nullify a 2016 non-disclosure agreement preventing her from speaking out about the affair she says she had with Trump in 2006. 

Just days before the 2016 election, Cohen paid Daniels $130 000 in exchange for her silence.

She is hoping to have the non-disclosure agreement thrown out on the grounds that it is not valid because Trump never signed it.

Through White House officials, Trump has denied the affair, although Cohen has admitted paying Daniels $130 000 as part of the agreement. He initially said he used his own money to pay Daniels and was not reimbursed by Trump. 

However, Trump — who initially denied knowledge of the payment — subsequently conceded that Cohen was in fact reimbursed.

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