Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti have parted ways—days after a federal judge tossed her hush-money lawsuit against President Trump and his former fixer, Michael Cohen.
The porn star and Avenatti, her ex-lawyer, announced their split in a pair of tweets on Tuesday afternoon. “I have retained Clark Brewster as my personal lawyer and have asked him and his firm to review all legal matters involving me,” Daniels wrote at 1:12 p.m. “Upon completion of Mr. Brewster's review and further consultation with me, I anticipate Mr. Brewster will serve as my primary counsel on all legal issues.”
Avenatti, who is now representing women accusing R. Kelly of sexual assault, responded with a statement of his own 11 minutes later.
“On February 19, we informed Stormy Daniels in writing that we were terminating our legal representation of her for various reasons that we cannot disclose due to the attorney-client privilege,” Avenatti tweeted. “This was not a decision we made lightly and it came only after lengthy discussion, thought, and deliberation, as well as consultation with other professionals.”
“We wish Stormy all the best,” he concluded.
Avenatti and Daniels could not be reached for comment.
Their parting comes one year after Daniels filed her infamous lawsuit to quash a “hush agreement” she inked just before the 2016 election—and months after Daniels exclusively told The Daily Beast she was mulling new counsel. In November, Daniels said Avenatti filed a defamation claim against Trump against her wishes, and launched a fundraising campaign without her permission.
The duo seemed to reconcile days later and issued statements on Twitter, with Avenatti writing, “Onward and upward. To all the people that want to divide us for their own agendas: It is not going to happen! #TeamStormy.”
Daniels received $130,000 from Cohen in return for keeping quiet about her claim that she had sex with Trump, then a reality TV star, at a golf tournament in 2006.
The allegations in her case ultimately led to the feds pursuing an investigation that resulted in felony charges against Cohen, who pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations and was sentenced to three years behind bars.
Her new lawyer, Clark Brewster of Tulsa, Oklahoma, made headlines in recent years for representing volunteer deputy Bob Bates. The insurance executive was a donor to the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department and joined a gun-buy sting operation in April 2015, when he shot and killed an unarmed black suspect. Bates, who said he mistook his gun for a Taser, was convicted of manslaughter.
On Monday, Brewster’s firm filed a notice of appearance in Daniels’ defamation case against Trump, which is currently being appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Brewster told The Daily Beast that Daniels had contacted his office before she hired Avenatti to take on her case. “There are some very, very interesting issues that will ultimately be decided by a federal jurisdiction. We look forward to seeing those to the end,” Brewster said when reached by phone on Tuesday. He added that he’s looking into the NDA lawsuit, which was remanded to state court in California, as well as her lawsuit against Ohio cops, who cuffed her during a stop on her strip tour.
He wouldn’t comment on who dumped whom, but said of Avenatti, “What he thought came first or second, I’m not going to get into his head. He can make any statement that he wants. I think it was obvious from the communication or lack thereof, that she was seeking new counsel.”
Asked whether Avenatti’s apparent legal troubles and recent bankruptcy played a role in his client breakup with Daniels, Brewster said, “I’ll simply say this. In addition to reviewing the legal matters that are pending, we would expect a full accounting and disclosure with regard to the representation of Stormy. That’s another issue we’ll deal with. I’m not, at this point in time, able or informed sufficiently to form opinions on that.”