(Reuters) – Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump, asked a federal court in California on Thursday to issue a restraining order against the lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels, a court document showed.
Cohen’s lawyer, Brent Blakely, asked the U.S. Court in the Central District of California to prohibit Michael Avenatti from speaking publicly about a lawsuit he filed on behalf of Daniels in March, according to the court filing.
“As this Court has probably already surmised, Mr. Avenatti’s actions are mainly driven by his seemingly unquenchable thirst for publicity,” the motion said.
Avenatti described the motion for the gag order as a “complete joke and baseless.”
“Mr. Cohen and Brent Blakely can’t deal with the truth, the facts, and the law, so they have to resort to unethical, meritless motions,” he said on Twitter.
Daniels sued Trump on March 6, saying he never signed an agreement for her to keep quiet about an “intimate” relationship between them in 2006. Daniels says she was paid $130,000 in what she called hush money over an alleged affair with Trump. Trump has said he never had an affair with Daniels.
Cohen has said he paid Daniels out of his own pocket during the 2016 presidential campaign but has not explained why or if Trump was aware of the payment.
Avenatti has made 121 television appearances to discuss the facts and circumstances relating to this case and has tweeted about the case more than 400 times, according to the court document.
Cohen and Blakely accuse Avenatti of violating California Rules of Professional Conduct by “routinely denigrating” Cohen with claims of criminal conduct.
Those claims are “likely to result in Cohen being deprived of his right to a fair trial, and threatens to turn what should be a solemn Federal Court proceeding into a media circus,” the motion said.
Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee, editing by Paul Tait, Larry King