The saga of Stephanie Clifford - better known to Americans as "Stormy Daniels" the former adult-film actress who claims she had an affair with Trump more than a decade ago - continued late Wednesday when the New York Times and NBC News reported that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen had filed a restraining order against Daniels to try and prevent her from speaking out about her affair with Trump.
The order, issued by an arbitrator in California, pertained to Daniels and the "hush agreement" she signed in October 2016 whereby she accepted $130,000 in exchange for signing an NDA about her relationship with Trump. the deal was made while Daniels was reportedly in talks with Slate and Good Morning America to share her story with them.
Details of the restraining order emerged late Wednesday after White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders addressed Daniels' claims for the first time (she denied that the president had a relationship with the former adult actress) and announced that a Trump lawyer had won an arbitration proceeding against her.
Per the Times, the restraining order puts the White House in the middle of the story by creating "the spectacle of a sitting president using legal maneuvers to avoid further scrutiny of salacious accusations of an affair and a payoff involving the porn star."
Daniels said her relationship with Trump was consensual, and that it began in 2006 during a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, but soured after Trump was unable to secure for her a spot on "The Apprentice".
Daniels filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday claiming the NDA she signed in 2016 is invalid because Trump never signed it.
Lawrence Rosen, a lawyer representing Cohen, said that an arbitrator, who "found that Ms. Clifford had violated the agreement," barred her from filing her lawsuit and making other disclosures of confidential information.
Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said he didn't consider the restraining order - dated Feb. 27 - to be valid, adding that his client would proceed with her lawsuit "in open court."
"This should be decided publicly," Avenatti said.
The NDA gives Trump the right to seek $1 million in arbitration should Daniels break - or threaten to break - their agreement.
In addition to her claim that Trump never signed the agreement, Daniels also argued that Cohen broke the terms of the NDA when he publicly admitted last month to paying Daniels $130,000 last month.
A copy of the restraining order, available below, left open the possibility that it could be modified int he future. An election watchdog called Common Cause is asking the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department to investigate Cohen's payment, arguing that it could constitute an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign, and therefore should've been disclosed.
Read the restraining order below: