Correction: Playboy Centerfold-GOP Donor story

August 01, 2018 - 5:04 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a July 31 story about a lawsuit brought by a former Playboy model against a top fundraiser for President Donald Trump, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the woman was seeking an additional $200,000 beyond a $1.6 million settlement that was to be paid in installments. Shera Bechard is asking a judge to compel Elliott Broidy to make a $200,000 payment that was due in July but withheld because he contends she broke a confidentiality agreement. She also is asking to accelerate two other installment payments as part of the $1.6 million agreement.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Ex-Playboy model seeks payment from top Trump fundraiser

A former Playboy centerfold model who claims she had an affair with a top fundraiser for President Donald Trump wants a judge to compel him to pay money she says is due as part of a $1.6 million settlement.

By MICHAEL BALSAMO

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former Playboy centerfold model who claims to have had an affair with a top fundraiser for President Donald Trump is asking a judge to compel him to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars she says she's owed as part of a $1.6 million settlement, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday.

Shera Bechard filed a lawsuit under seal earlier this month against the fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, her former attorney Keith Davidson, and Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn actress Stormy Daniels.

Several news organizations, including The Associated Press, fought to make the lawsuit public, and a redacted copy was released on Tuesday.

Bechard and Broidy had an affair, which led to Bechard becoming pregnant, and Broidy agreed to pay her $1.6 million as part of a confidentiality agreement, according to court documents. The settlement was supposed to be made in a series of eight payments of $200,000, court papers said.

Broidy stopped making payments to Bechard in July — after paying two installments — and alleges that the agreement was breached because Davidson had improperly discussed the details of the confidentiality agreement with Avenatti, according to the lawsuit. Bechard charges that Broidy's refusal to pay is also a breach of the agreement.

Bechard, who believes she is entitled to full payment under the settlement, wants a judge to order Broidy to pay the $200,000 that was due in July and argues she also is entitled to have two additional installments accelerated because "Mr. Broidy's assertion of a breach by Ms. Bechard was made in 'bad faith.' "

Eric Rose, a spokesman for Broidy, said in an email that, "Given the confidentiality issues, Elliott is going to let his legal teams court filings speak for themselves."

Bechard met with Davidson in October 2017 when she was then seven-weeks pregnant with Broidy's child, according to the lawsuit, but the details of what was discussed at the meeting were redacted.

"She alone decided that she did not want to continue with the pregnancy and I offered to help her financially during this difficult period," Broidy said in a statement provided to the AP.

Davidson negotiated a settlement with Michael Cohen, who represented Broidy in the settlement, but is best known as President Donald Trump's former longtime personal attorney and fixer. Bechard alleges that Davidson was secretly working with Cohen and had negotiated a settlement that was advantageous to Broidy and 35 percent of the payments were to go to Davidson.

"Despite his fiduciary and ethical duties to his client, Mr. Davidson treated Ms. Bechard's claims as a commodity to be traded for his own financial gain," the lawsuit says.

Earlier this month, Avenatti said that Davidson — who had also previously represented Daniels — had volunteered information about Bechard's agreement in April.

Davidson claimed that he contacted Cohen to ask if he knew the Republican donor and Cohen later indicated he was going to represent the donor, Avenatti said.

Daniels is suing Trump over a confidentiality agreement that Cohen negotiated days before the 2016 presidential election regarding an alleged 2006 affair that Trump denies. Separately, the Justice Department has been investigating Cohen for months; his lawyer recently released secret recordings between Cohen and Trump from 2016 regarding payments to another former Playboy model who also alleges an affair with the future president.