Porn star Stormy Daniels' crowdfunding campaign to battle Trump raises $160,000 in two days

Key Points
  • Former adult film star Stormy Daniels launched a crowdfunding campaign as part of her lawsuit against President Trump.
  • In two days, the campaign raised more than $160,000.
  • Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, filed a suit against Trump to void a nondisclosure agreement barring her from discussing an alleged sexual affair with Trump between 2006 and 2007.
Stormy Daniels
Gabe Ginsberg | Getty Images

In less than two full days, former porn star Stormy Daniels raised more than $160,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to help fund her legal fight against President Donald Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen.

The campaign, launched on Wednesday via crowdjustice.com, will collect pledges from Daniels' supporters for 30 days. By 5:35 p.m. ET Friday, the online fundraiser received donations from more than 5,500 people totaling $166,517.

"People are very supportive of our position," Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, told CNBC. "She's honored and humbled by that fact."

The White House and lawyers for Cohen did not respond to CNBC's requests for comment.

Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, said donations will be used to pay her attorneys' fees and other costs related to the suit filed March 6.

She is seeking to void a nondisclosure pact barring her from discussing an alleged affair with Trump between summer 2006 and 2007. Daniels' lawsuit argues that the agreement is unenforceable because it was never signed by Trump himself.

Cohen, Trump's lawyer, said he paid Daniels $130,000 in October 2016 as part of the nondisclosure deal — a few weeks prior to Election Day. Cohen later said that he made the payment with his own money using a personal home equity credit line.

The payment was delivered through an LLC set up by Cohen shortly beforehand. Daniels and Trump were allegedly referred to by the respective pseudonyms "Peggy Peterson" and "David Dennison." Daniels said she offered to return her 2016 payment in exchange for the ability to speak openly about the affair but did not receive a response.

Trump has denied the relationship ever took place.

At a White House briefing last week, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that an arbitration related to the nondisclosure agreement was decided "in the president's favor," linking him directly to the case. A Trump Organization lawyer secured a restraining order against Daniels as part of the arbitration in an attempt to keep her from speaking publicly, The Wall Street Journal later reported.

The website hosting Daniels' fundraising campaign allows parties involved in legal action to raise money for lawsuits and other legal proceedings. Daniels said her lawsuit is part of an attempt "to speak honestly and openly to the American people about my relationship with now President Donald Trump and the intimidation and tactics used against me."

Avenatti, in television interviews on Friday, said his client has been physically threatened in relation to her involvement with the president. He did not specify who might have threatened her.

However, Avenatti did allege in a CNN interview Friday morning that some of Daniels' accusations stem from incidents that occurred after Trump became president. Avenatti did not elaborate on which accusations he was referring to.

In a statement posted on her crowdfunding page, Daniels called the arbitration proceeding a "bogus" attempt to hide the facts. Trump and Cohen "have threatened me with millions of dollars in damages ($1M each time I speak out) if I tell the truth about what happened," she added.

In an update to the crowdfunding page on Thursday, Daniels said the money being raised is solely being used to fund her lawsuit. "I am not going to pocket any money. The money is being controlled at all times by my attorneys in a trust account," she said.

The campaign launched Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET, according to Avenatti. He told CNBC there is no minimum target amount for the campaign.

Pledges ranged from as little as $5 to as much as $5,000, and many were accompanied by comments encouraging Daniels to "get him" or "keep up the fight" in her lawsuit.