Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Michael Cohen has agreed to rescind the nondisclosure agreement that legally required Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about her alleged affair with President Donald Trump, Cohen's former client.
Cohen's lawyers had threatened Daniels, an adult film star whose birth name is Stephanie Clifford, could be sued for more than $20 million for nondisclosure agreement violations. But under the rescission, Clifford could talk about her alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump without fearing such penalties.
In return, Cohen, Trump's former longtime personal lawyer who once told Vanity Fair he'd "take a bullet for the president," wants the $130,000 back that he paid her in the settlement agreement.
Brent Blakely, Cohen's civil lawyer, said in a court filing Friday that Cohen's company, Essential Consultants, "has accepted the rescission of the Confidential Settlement Agreement" and has agreed not to sue Clifford.
The filing asked U.S. District Judge Otero to dismiss the part of Daniels' suit that sought to invalidate the agreement, but not a defamation claim against Cohen for his comments about her.
Essential Consultants, the shell company Cohen set up to make the payment to Daniels, has agreed to tear up the so-called "hush agreement."
Daniels has already spoken publicly about the alleged affair, including an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes, so a source familiar with the case told CNN that could be part of his reason for rescinding the agreement.
However, Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti suggested a direct motive on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time."
"What they're trying to do is they don't want me to get a chance to depose Michael Cohen and Donald Trump," Avenatti said. "This is a hail Mary to try and avoid that, that's my first guess."
"He is back to doing Trump's bidding and acting as a fixer," he added.
The nondisclosure agreement has been at the center of Cohen's legal issues. He admitted in court last month to making the $130,000 payment to Daniels in service of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and exceeding the $2,700 federal limit for campaign donations.