Lawyer: Charges dropped against Stormy Daniels
The attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels says prosecutors have dropped all charges against her following her overnight arrest at an Ohio adult club.
Michael Avenatti represents Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. He said Thursday afternoon in a tweet he was pleased prosecutors dropped the charges and thanked them for their professionalism.
I am pleased to report that the charges against my client @stormydaniels have been dismissed in their entirety (below motion was just granted). I want to thank Joe Gibson & his colleagues at the prosecutors ofc for their professionalism starting with our first call early this am. pic.twitter.com/xHPSWsyqM2— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) July 12, 2018
A prosecutor's memo provided by Avenatti says an Ohio illegal touching law can't be enforced because Daniels has only appeared once at the Columbus club.
The law refers to someone "who regularly appears nude or seminude" at a club.
Messages were left with the Columbus city prosecutor's office seeking comment.
Earlier Thursday, Avenatti said Daniels' arrest was part of a string operation.
While Daniels was performing Wednesday night at Sirens, a strip club in Columbus, some patrons touched her in a "non-sexual" way, Avenatti told the Associated Press.
He told MSNBC later Thursday that police had prepared a sting operation with multiple officers. He said female undercover officers asked Daniels if they could place their face between her breasts.
"This was a complete set up," Avenatti said. "It's absurd that law enforcement resources are being spent to conduct a sting operation related to customers touching performers in a strip club in a non-sexual manner."
A message left for the city attorney spokeswoman wasn't immediately returned.
An Ohio law known as the Community Defense Act prohibits anyone who isn't a family member to touch a nude or semi-nude dancer.
According to charging documents obtained by WSYX-TV in Columbus, Daniels, who was semi-nude, allegedly touched some of the patrons' breasts and allowed them to touch her. She allegedly performed the same act with several officers who approached the stage and forced one officer's head into her bare chest.
She was released on bail before 6 a.m. Thursday. Court records show Daniels posted $6,000.
Avenatti posted on Twitter a statement by Daniels that said she apologized to her fans in Columbus, but she would not perform her previously scheduled Thursday night show.
Official Statement From @StormyDaniels : As a result of what happened last night, I will unfortunately be unable to go forward with tonight's scheduled performance. I deeply apologize to my fans in Columbus.— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) July 12, 2018
A Columbus police spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment. A person who answered the phone at the strip club declined to comment.
Daniels has said she had sex with President Donald Trump in 2006, when he was married, which Trump has denied. She's suing Trump and his former longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and seeking to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement that she signed days before the 2016 presidential election.