Stormy Daniels settles with Columbus police for $450K
Stormy Daniels has settled with the city of Columbus, Ohio, for $450,000, according to a city spokesperson, after she claimed she was targeted and arrested at a strip club last year.
While the settlement is subject to the City Council’s approval, “all parties agreed a $450,000 settlement was fair, given the facts and circumstances involved,” according to Meredith Tucker, spokesperson for Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein.
Daniels told CNN affiliate WBNS-TV she was pleased with the outcome of the settlement, and that the lawsuit was never about the money.
“It was the changes that were made in bringing awareness to how the law isn’t written fairly and they targeted me and other women,” Daniels said. “I’m really proud of how the city of Columbus stepped up and took responsibility in actively making changes and holding those officers accountable.”
The settlement comes more than a year after Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was charged with with three misdemeanor counts of illegally touching a patron at the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club. The charges against Daniels were dropped 12 hours later, police said.
The state’s “no-touching” law did not apply to Daniels because she was not a regular performer at the club. The law states that any employee who regularly appears nude or seminude at a “sexually oriented business” is prohibited from touching patrons, except for family members.
Daniels filed a lawsuit in January against several members of the Columbus Police Department’s vice unit, claiming civil rights violations. The lawsuit stated she was targeted by the vice officers because they were supporters of President Donald Trump and “entered into a conspiracy to arrest her” in retaliation for embarrassing the President.
Months before her arrest, Daniels spoke out about her alleged sexual relationship with Trump in 2006, and the $130,000 in hush money she had been paid days before the 2016 presidential election through a shell company set up by then-candidate Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen.
The lawsuit named four officers originally, all of whom were involved in Daniels’ arrest. In June, the city of Columbus was added to the lawsuit because Daniels claimed the city violated her constitutional rights.
In August, police said five officers were facing disciplinary measures for the incident.
“Chief Tom Quinlan made this decision because these officers violated the Columbus Division of Police rules of conduct,” police said in a news release without specifying the violations or naming the officers, all members of the now disbanded vice section.
The officers may face a reprimand, suspension, demotion or termination, the release said. Quinlan will make a recommendation, and the director of public safety will make the final decision based on that.
CNN’s Theresa Waldrop, Sara Sidner and Elizabeth Joseph contributed to this report.