Authorities drop charges against Stormy Daniels

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Washington, July 13: Prosecutors in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday dismissed charges against adult film actress Stormy Daniels — famous for a purported 2006 affair with US President Donald Trump — following her arrest while performing at a strip club.

“I am pleased to report that the charges against my client @stormydaniels have been dismissed in their entirety,” her attorney, Michael Avenatti, said on Twitter.

Avenatti, who is representing Daniels in her legal battle to invalidate a non-disclosure agreement with Trump, had earlier denounced the arrest at the Columbus strip club as a “setup”, Efe reported.

The incident took place Wednesday night at the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club in Columbus, where Daniels was appearing as a part of a nationwide tour.

Undercover officers were in the club as a part of “long-term investigation into allegations of human trafficking, prostitution, and other vice related violations,” the Columbus police department said in a statement.

Police said that the officers observed Daniels take off her top and push patrons’ faces into her chest and that she did the same to three detectives who approached the stage.

The officers then arrested Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, under a 2007 Ohio law that bars an employee who regularly appears nude or semi-nude at a sexually oriented business from touching patrons, except for family members.

Hours after Daniels was freed on bail of $6,054, Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said that he decided the charges were not valid, “based on the fact that Ms. Clifford has not made regular appearances at this establishment as required under the law”.

Daniels had planned to plead not guilty to the three misdemeanor charges, Avenatti said.

The actress made headlines when she went public with claims that she had a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006 and that the real estate mogul’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid her $130,000 before the 2016 election to keep quiet about the affair.

Daniels, who alleges that Trump associates threatened her, is now asking the courts to throw out the non-disclosure pact.

Trump denies having an affair with Daniels, according to the White House.