Ever since it emerged that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, forked out $130,000 from his own pocket to silence a porn actress by the name of Stormy Daniels, who claims to have the goods on his client, WTF has been wondering where she can find another lawyer offering this level of personal service. Most lawyers do not enjoy a reputation for generosity. They tend to bill you for every moment they spend upon your affairs. Phone them up, you pay. Write them a letter or an email that they have to read, you pay. Draft an agreement, you pay. That is the way that it has been since time immemorial. But apparently Cohen is cut from different cloth. Shortly before the Presidential Election in November 2016, he discovered that Stormy was about to go public with sordid details about her ‘intimate relationship’ with the Donald ten years earlier. The Access Hollywood tape had just come out, the Donald was getting unfavourable publicity despite his denying any wrongdoing. Although Cohen believed Stormy’s story to be false, he felt it best to get her to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in exchange for a payout. Because of course you always pay people hush money when they are telling blatant lies. To this end, he set up a company registered in Delaware, the state of choice for people who can’t be arsed to fly to the Cayman Islands or the BVI to set up an iffy company, or do not have their passport to hand. The parties to the agreement were Essential Consultants LLC, which is not essential to anyone, and does not offer any consultancy services, a person with the pseudonym David Dennison (allegedly the Donald) and Peggy Peterson (aka Stormy). Cohen wired the money to Stormy’s bank. All this out of the goodness of his heart. You do not get many lawyers like that. Or, indeed, any.
When the Wall Street Journal broke the story, the White House not only denied any knowledge of the NDA or Essential Consultants LLC, it also denied that the Donald had ever dallied with Stormy. Of course he did. Not only would his base not like it but the third Mrs Trump would not like it, not least because the dalliance would have begun just three months after the birth of her son Barron. Cohen stated publicly that he had done everything without his client’s knowledge, even though rule 1.4 of the New York Bar Rules of Professional Conduct requires him to keep his client informed of all steps taken on his behalf and to consult with him about them. No one was much surprised that the Donald may once have dallied with Stormy or, indeed, with anyone else. Or cared much. He was always a serial shagger. But for someone, whether he knew about it or nor, to pay off a porn star to help his election prospects, and then to fail to declare it as an election expense, is not just a probable breach of US Election Law, it is sleazy. As usual, the cover up is way worse than the (alleged) offence.
Last week, Stormy declared that the NDA was void. First, she said whilst she and the company had signed it, David Dennison had not. Second, even if it was valid, she claimed that Cohen had invalidated it by talking about it. Cohen, still apparently acting without any reference to his client, went to arbitration under the NDA and got a retired judge to issue an injunction to prevent Stormy from going public. Whereupon Stormy’s lawyer filed a court case against the company and the Donald alleging that he, Cohen and others had attempted to intimidate Daniels and shut her up and seeking relief. Not the sort that Stormy is said to have offered the Donald, but a declaration that the NDA was invalid. At which point, we all got to see the said NDA, because it was attached in full to the claim. It is quite a document. Amongst other things, it assigns to DD all copyright in “paintings, video images, still images, e-mail messages, text messages, Instagram message, facebook posting or any other type of creation by DD.” Paintings? WTF was unaware that the Donald ever painted anything other than his face. Plus Stormy has to pay DD $1m for every breach of the NDA.
If St Michael of Cohen really did all this without his client’s knowledge, which is about as likely as orange pigs with comb-overs flying down Pennsylvania Avenue, why did the Donald’s Press Secretary tell journalists that he “had won an arbitration” on an agreement he was not a party to and knew nothing about? But hey. If St Michael is disbarred or disciplined for breaching his professional obligations and if he really did shell out $130,000 of his own money (plus all that travel and company start-up costs), at least he will have the consolation of knowing that he is a really, really, lovely chap. We can but hope that the Donald appreciates it. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his all for his friends.
We are now off to the Oscars to peruse the shocking sartorial choices made both on the Red Carpet and at the after-parties. We begin with director and writer Agnès Varda, aged 89, wearing Gucci.
This is a lot of floral. It is understandable that Agnès would want to cover her décolletage, but the sweater under the pyjamas under the dressing gown, not to mention the stripes, is a lot of a lot. As WTF aficionado Bindy noted, Gucci has given Agnès a rope to hang herself with. She looks as if she has wandered downstairs from the bedroom into her granddaughter’s birthday party.
Actor Timothée Chalamet, wearing Beluti.
Timothée is dressed for his First Communion. His mother kindly shortened his trousers but she seems to have overdone it. Either that or he had a sudden growth spurt.
Skier and Olympic medallist Lindsey Vonn, wearing Christian Siriano.
Lindsey is dressed as a saloon girl in a John Wayne western.
Farrah has gone very Jessica Rabbit with the hair. Her dress is nice and surprisingly modest but having made two full-on sex tapes, everyone has already seen her wares. Phoebe and Sophia are giving us the full pastel minge waterfall look. They are all doing that forward knee thing that WTF really, really hates and she would prefer it if the three of them just went away.
Actress Salma Hayek wearing Gucci.
It’s here! The ultimate Gucci luxury loo roll cover with diamanté trim. Meanwhile, whoever did Salma’s hair and makeup needs a slap, a P45, and another slap.
Actress Haley Bennett, wearing Christian Dior.
Dior assembled this dress from a roll of garden turf over mosquito netting and the illusion panel polo neck with a visible seam is like a large tracheostomy scar.
Young actor Darrell Britt-Gibson, who needs a word with his tailor.
Love, love, love the shocking pink jacket and the skinny tie but those trousers are half up his shins and his shoes are too big.
Actress Andra Day, wearing Zac Posen.
It is as if Cath Kidston had taken up residence at Versailles making curtains. And Andra’s mules are the same colour as the carpet.
Self-publicist Blanca Blanco, wearing who knows what?
By Blanca’s very low standards, she is positively covered up – remember her effort at this year’s Grammys – but this is not so much a gaping tit window as a conservatory with the roof off. As for the sandals, the thick ankle strap makes her look as if she is wearing an electronic tag.
Actress Nicole Kidman ,wearing Armani Privé.
The colour is fantastic and the bodice is fine but from the waist down it is far from fine. Indeed, fine can be sighted only with a telescope. The huge bow is excessively labial and Armani has lumped in some genitalia curtains for good measure.
TV person and actress Paris Jackson, (daughter of Michael), wearing Atelier Versace.
Paris is dressed as a trapeze artist with shoulder pads. Hate the tattoos. Hate the floaty bits. Hate the pose. Hate the pop-eyed gaze. Awful.
Actress Taraji P Henson, wearing Vera Wang.
Vera Wang giveth and Vera Wang taketh away. The skirt is lined but there is a thigh high split provoking fears of an imminent Minge Moment. And the top is unlined, giving us full view of a couple of giant nursing pads.
Singer St Vincent, wearing St Laurent.
She looks like a bedraggled Playboy Bunny half way out of her hutch. She has a pointy pubes pelmet and one of her bunny ears is hanging from her waist. What happened to the other one? It is all so terribly, terribly, terrible.
Albanian shocker Bleona Qereti wearing not much at all. WARNING!! NIPPLES AHOY!
Bleona wore something very similar at the AMAs in 2014, to whit, not enough. It comes to something when one can only be grateful that she is wearing panties. After the 2014 AMAs, such was their shame that Bleona’s parents in Albania barricaded themselves inside their house and refused to come out, Wait until they see her in another sparkling fishing net, but this time her chest fully on show. WTF hopes that their local hospital has dusted off its defibrillator….
Finally, skater and Olympic medallist Adam Rippon, wearing Moschino and “styled” by Moschino director Jeremy Scott.
WTF aficionado Andrew from Holborn was so appalled that he messaged WTF as follows. ‘If you don’t feature Adam Rippon’s Oscars’ outfit (with the accent on ‘out’! – he looks like a posh extra from the movie Crusing) in next Friday’s column, I will send you to an ophthalmologist!’ Andrew, do not worry. Here he is. WTF has a lot of time for Adam, who, as an openly gay man, refused to meet homophobic horror, US Vice President Mike Pence, at the Winter Olympics. However, turning up as The Gimp in a tux with cutaway shoulders just will not do, even if would cause Pence to choke on his cornflakes.
This week’s It’s Got To Go comes from WTF stalwart Yvonne Ridley who has alerted WTF to an utterly foul new phenomenon – the halo eyebrow.
No. No! NO!!!!!!!!!!! This is not heavenly or holy. As Mephistopheles said in Dr Faustus: ‘Why this is hell, nor am I out of it.’ This has very definitely Got to Go.
OK Readers, that’s your lot for this week. Thank you for your top comments last week and for your suggestions for It’s Got To Go. Let us meet again next Friday. Be good x