Porn star Stormy Daniels arrested while performing in Ohio strip club

Key Points
  • Porn star Stormy Daniels, who has made headlines for an alleged affair with Donald Trump, was arrested during a performance at a Columbus, Ohio, strip club, according to her attorney.
  • Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti in a Twitter post claimed the arrest "was politically motivated, and "reeks of desperation."
  • The actress is suing Trump and the president's former lawyer seeking to void have a nondisclosure agreement she signed to keep quiet about her purported tryst with Trump. The White House denies any affair.
Stormy Daniels arrested while performing in Ohio strip club

Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who has made headlines for an alleged affair with Donald Trump, was arrested while performing Wednesday night at a Columbus, Ohio, strip club after allegedly having physical contact with patrons.

Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti in a Twitter post claimed the arrest "was politically motivated, and "reeks of desperation."

Read more: Prosecutors drop charges against Stormy Daniels

Police said Daniels was busted after allegedly touching three different undercover vice police officers during her performance at the Sirens club, in violation of state law barring anyone who is not a family member from touching a dancer who is either nude or semi-nude.

Court documents reportedly claim that Daniels, during her performance, forced faces of club customers into her breasts and used her exposed breast to smack their faces. She also allegedly fondled the breast of female customers.

The Columbus Police Department said in a statement posted to Twitter Thursday that the arrest was part of a "a long-term investigation into allegations of human trafficking, prostitution, along with other vice related violations." Two other individuals were arrested in connection with the investigation, according to the police.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was released on a $6,000 bail within hours of being arrested, Avenatti said on MSNBC on Thursday. He said Daniels would enter a not guilty plea and that she would not personally appear in court. She was arrested on three counts of misdemeanor sex offenses.

"This was a complete set up," Avenatti told the Associated Press. "it's absurd that law-enforcement resources are being spent to conduct a sting operation related to customers touching performers in a strip club in a non-sexual manner."

Avenatti told NBC News that he was of the understanding that there were multiple undercover vice officers in the club during Daniels' show. After the customer touched her, according to the attorney, those officers got up and arrested the performer on the spot.

Michael Avenatti tweet: Just rcvd word that my client @StormyDaniels was arrested in Columbus Ohio whole performing the same act she has performed across the nation at nearly a hundred strip clubs. This was a setup & politically motivated. It reeks of desperation. We will fight all bogus charges. #Basta

In subsequent tweets, Avenatti vowed that she will "vehemently contest" the charges.

In the meantime, however, the arrest forced Daniels to cancel a second performance scheduled for Thursday night in Columbus, according to a statement tweeted by Avenatti.

Stormy Daniels' ex-lawyer sues Cohen for 'illegal' recording of phone calls

Avenatti tweet: She was arrested for allegedly allowing a customer to touch her while on stage in a non sexual manner! Are you kidding me? They are devoting law enforcement resources to sting operations for this? There has to be higher priorities!!! #SetUp #Basta

Jeff Zeleny tweet

Daniels claims she had sex with Trump in 2006, while he was married to Melania Trump.

In October 2016, on the eve of the presidential election, Michael Cohen, then Trump's personal attorney, used a shell company he had set up to pay Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her signing a nondisclosure agreement.

Steven Portnoy tweet

Daniels has said the agreement barred her from speaking publicly about her tryst with Trump. The White House has denied Trump had sex with Daniels, but Trump has admitted reimbursing Cohen for the hush-money payment to her.

In early January this year, The Wall Street Journal broke the news about that deal arranged by the lawyers.

Daniels is suing Trump and Cohen seeking to have the nondisclosure agreement declared void, in light of the fact that it was never signed by Trump.

—CNBC's Dan Mangan, Kevin Breuninger, and Tucker Higgins contributed to this report.