Stormy Daniels Sues Ohio Police Officers Over An Arrest She Claims Was "Politically Motivated"
As of Monday, adult film director Stormy Daniels is suing the Ohio police officers who arrested her in July. Specifically, Daniels has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit accusing four officers in particular of participating in a conspiracy against her. Per NBC, her lawsuit alleges that those officers "entered into a conspiracy to arrest her during her performance in Columbus in retaliation for the public statements she had made regarding President Trump."
Daniels was arrested in July, after a performance at Sirens Gentleman's Club in Columbus, Ohio. She was slapped with three misdemeanor sex-offense charges, all of which were dropped within hours of her arrest, according to her lawyer, Michael Avenatti. Now, Daniels is seeking legal recourse for the event.
According to CNN, Daniels is suing for false arrest, malicious prosecution, conspiracy to violate the Fourth and 14th Amendments, and two accusations of abuse of process. In terms of monetary compensation, she's seeking over $1 million in punitive damages, costs, and fees, and an additional $1 million in compensatory damages.
In a statement to Bustle regarding the lawsuit, a spokeswoman for the Columbus Division of Police internal affairs bureau said,
We've been made aware of the lawsuit filed by Stephanie Clifford. The Columbus Division of Police internal affairs bureau continues its investigation. Therefore, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on this matter at this time.
On Twitter, Avenatti wrote that the Daniels legal team "look[s] forward to exposing the facts relating to the outrageous conduct of these rogue officers, who abused their power and the badge to further a political vendetta against Stormy."
He further argued that he intended to hold the accused individuals "accountable" for their actions, writing, "Here in America, unlike in Russia, we don't arrest citizens for political purposes in an effort to silence them."
Daniels' lawsuit comes five months after a series of emails from the Columbus Division of Police were leaked, the content of which suggested that Daniels' arrest may have been planned.
At the time, The Fayette Advocate, a local newspaper which released the whistleblower report, reached out to the Columbus police department for comment, but those calls were not returned. Bustle has since reached out to the department for an updated comment.
In July, Columbus Chief of Police Kim Jacobs called the arrest of Daniels and two other women a "mistake" in an official statement. Per CNN, she said, "Vice personnel working last night believed they had probable cause that the state law regulating sexually-oriented businesses was violated; however, one element of the law was missed in error and charges were subsequently dismissed." Jacobs has not made any statements about the allegations of conspiracy from Daniels' legal team.
For now, Daniels has remained silent about the filing of her lawsuit. In July, following her arrest, she took to Twitter to announce that she would be donating all tips from an upcoming performance toward the legal fees of the two other women who were arrested. Daniels wrote, "Come support the working women of this city.