WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer told The New York Times on Tuesday he paid $130,000 of his own money to a porn star who once said she had an affair with Trump.
The attorney, Michael Cohen, said that he was not reimbursed for the payment to the actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford and goes by Stormy Daniels, the Times said.
Cohen told the newspaper the payment was legal, and he declined to give details such as why he made it.
“Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Cohen said, according to the Times.
“The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”
U.S. media reports have said the payment was made one month before the November 2016 election to keep the liaison quiet.
Trump was a private citizen when the 2006 sexual encounter with Clifford allegedly took place.
He was married at the time and his wife, Melania, had given birth to their son less than four months earlier.
The payment was first reported last month by the Wall Street Journal.
Trump, through his lawyers, has denied anything ever went on between them. A statement with Daniels’ purported signature denying the affair surfaced last month, though she said she had no knowledge of the document.
But In Touch magazine published a 2011 interview with Daniels last month in which she expounds at length and in detail on their relationship and what she described as their “textbook generic” sex.