The lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels said Thursday that President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani "should be fired immediately" for suggesting that Daniels was not worthy of full respect or credibility because of her sex work.
Giuliani also caught flak from Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, who said Giuliani risks "alienating a great many people" by targeting Daniels for her profession.
The back-and-forth came amid continued legal wrangling related to a $130,000 hush-money payment that Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen paid Daniels in October 2016 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump. Trump denies such an affair.
Daniels is suing Trump and Cohen to void the nondisclosure agreement she signed.
Giuliani, at an event Wednesday in Tel Aviv, Israel, said, "I'm sorry, I don't respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman and as a person and isn't going to sell her body for sexual exploitation."
"So, Stormy, you want to bring a case, let me cross-examine you," Giuliani said. "Because the business you're in entitles you to no degree of giving your credibility any weight."
He also suggested that nothing Trump or Cohen could say about Daniels would damage her reputation because, "If you're going to sell your body for money, you just don't have a reputation."
Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti blasted Giuliani for those jibes, calling him "a misogynist."
"This guy is an absolute disgusting pig," Avenatti said on MSNBC.
"He should be fired immediately."
Avenatti added that Giuliani's comments "show how ... out of touch he is with today's society, show what a pig he truly is, shows that he thinks he's above the law and above rebuke, and it shows that he must believe that this president will support him and back him for these outrageous comments against women and my client."
"We cannot have men in positions of power basically making these statements against women," Avenatti fumed. "It doesn't matter what a women's profession is. It has nothing to do with their credibility or whether they should be respected."
Dershowitz, when asked about Giuliani's remarks, told MSNBC, "You know, I don't like people commenting about how women are living."
"If he was cross-examining in a courtroom he would have to make a judgment call as to whether to raise issues about her background and credibility," said Dershowitz, who has been a prominent legal defender of Trump.
"But when you're in the court of public opinion in the year of 2018 those kind of comments have the risk of certainly alienating a great many people," he said. "And so I'd be very cautious about making any generalizations about any woman and the occupation she is pursuing."
Meanwhile Thursday, Avenatti filed a document in federal court in California arguing that Daniels' defamation case against Trump and Cohen, which last month was put on hold for 90 days, should be restarted now.
Cohen had asked for that stay on the grounds that he is the target of a federal criminal investigation in New York City.
Avenatti said that defendants' arguments for the 90-day stay were no longer valid in light of new facts surrounding Cohen's $130,000 payment to Daniels.
Those facts include Giuliani's admission that Trump had reimbursed Cohen for that payment to the actress and Trump's statement that prosecutors are eyeing Cohen's business dealings in their probe.
Avenatti also contended that fears that Cohen would be required to answer questions in a deposition in the defamation case are no longer relevant because "he will not be called upon to testify in the short term."