A lawsuit filed by former Playboy Playmate Shera Bechard, which seeks damages from Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti, was unsealed by a judge in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday. Bechard filed the suit on July 6, as AVN.com reported, after Bechard claimed that prominent Republican fundraiser and Donald Trump supporter Elliot Broidy had cut off her payments on a $1.6 million “hush” agreement they signed over an affair Broidy carried on with the November 2010 Playmate of the Month.
But the suit also named two other individuals as defendants: Keith Davidson and Avenatti. Davidson was the lawyer who arranged the hush money deal for Bechard, through Trump’s personal “fixer” Michael Cohen who, the lawsuit alleges, was “recruited” to broker the deal by Davidson.
Though unsealed, significant portions of the lawsuit remain redacted. Read the document, including the redactions, at this link.
Bechard is now represented by Peter Stris, the lawyer who represented another former Playboy Playmate, Karen McDougal, in a suit over a hush money deal that arose from her affair with Trump. Stris settled that suit for McDougal in April. Davidson had also previously represented McDougal, and negotiated the hush money payoff through Cohen.
The lawsuit unsealed on Tuesday alleges that Avenatti received confidential information about Bechard’s case from Davidson, and then publicized it via his Twitter account. But the text of the lawsuit acknowledges that Bechard “does not have personal knowledge that Mr. Davidson disclosed her confidential information to Mr. Avenatti.”
That information came from Broidy, the lawsuit says, but Broidy also is not alleged to know for sure that Davidson gave the info to Avenatti, but Broidy “insists” that he did.
Avenatti responded to Stris via his Twitter account on Tuesday, after Stris posted the redacted lawsuit.
“It is really big of you to release this when you should have never filed the original complaint under seal to begin with,” Avenatti wrote. “When I am ultimately exonerated in this case because I did nothing wrong, I am coming after you, your firm, and your client for malicious prosecution. Good luck.”
Avenatti later added, “I never had any duty to [Bechard] and never knew the terms were confidential. [Stris] added me purely for leverage and ultimately he and his client are going to pay a very steep price. I hold the record for a malicious prosecution settlement in California at $39 Million.”
The lawsuit claims that Broidy stopped the hush-money payments to Bechard because Davidson leaked confidential details of Bechard’s case to Avenatti, as CBS News reported. In addition to demanding $200,000 from Broidy, the suit says that damages against Avenatti will be determined in court.
Bechard says that she became pregnant as a result of the affair with Broidy, and had an abortion as a result.
Image via Los Angeles County Superior Court