Accusations by ex-mistress of GOP mega donor Elliott Broidy go public
The onetime mistress of former deputy Republican National Committee Finance Chairman Elliott Broidy alleged in newly revealed court documents that she was physically abused by Broidy, and she charges that he was emboldened by President Donald Trump’s alleged mistreatment of women and belief that he could get away with it.
The disturbing new allegations about the relationship between Broidy, a Republican fundraiser and Trump supporter, and former Playboy model Shera Bechard were unsealed Friday by Judge Elizabeth Allen White in Los Angeles Superior Court. Broidy and Bechard had signed a $1.6 million agreement that was to be paid to Bechard for an undisclosed “personal injury.” The deal required the parties to keep the details of the relationship confidential, but the agreement was breached and it spilled into public view.
“Although Mr. Broidy said that Mr. Trump was ‘an idiot,’ who ‘could not even pronounce the names of countries correctly,’ ” the newly unsealed court documents filed by Bechard say, “Mr. Broidy admired Mr. Trump’s uncanny ability to sexually abuse woman and get away with it. Mr. Broidy began to hurt Ms. Bechard physically during their sexual activities — touching her in ways to which she did not consent.”
Bechard alleges that Broidy, a Republican mega donor, impregnated her and then pressured her to have an abortion. “Initially, he supported her keeping the baby,” she says in the court documents. “But he quickly changed his tune and began demanding that she gets an abortion, insisting that ‘Nobody can know.’ “
When the allegations became public last spring, Bechard sued Broidy after learning in a newspaper article that she may not receive the rest of the payment. The two parties ended up in court fighting over how the confidentiality breach occurred, as well as over Bechard’s allegation that she has not received a portion of the money owed.
Broidy’s attorneys have fought to keep the court documents sealed. The complaint says Bechard wanted to have the baby but “was scared of Mr. Broidy.” She also accused Broidy of refusing to wear condoms while failing to inform her that he had herpes, according to her complaint.
Broidy is denying some of the accusations made in the court documents. In a statement Friday to CNN he said: “This person tried to extract money from me by making up false, malicious and disgusting allegations. I have acknowledged making the mistake of having an affair, and I entered a confidential agreement to protect my family’s privacy. I honored my agreement until her lawyer breached it — and then, when I failed to pay her demands, she did what blackmailers do and went public with her lies. I will vigorously defend myself against these false and defamatory allegations.”
On Friday, a spokesperson for Stris & Maher, the firm representing Bechard, told CNN: “Elliott Broidy continues to viciously attack our client, Shera Bechard, in the press — this time because a judge found his legal arguments for secrecy unavailing and because his own lawyers failed to do their jobs. We will not be intimidated as we work to vindicate our client’s rights.”
When the story first came out in April, Broidy also issued a statement apologizing to his wife and admitting the affair but denying he had demanded an abortion. “At the end of our relationship, this woman shared with me that she was pregnant. 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’s statement said. It did not say who the father might have been.
In the newly unsealed court documents, Bechard claimed she knew Broidy carried a gun in his car, and she alleges that he told her he had “connections who could make people disappear.” Bechard’s attorney said in the complaint that they had recovered some of the details about the affair in text messages, photos and notes taken by Bechard’s then-attorney Keith Davidson.
The complex legal case involves some familiar names. Bechard sued Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who represents the adult film star known as Stormy Daniels, for allegedly leaking information about her relationship with Broidy. He is representing himself.
On Friday, the spokesperson for Stris & Maher, the firm representing Bechard, also said: “Judge White found Shera Bechard has persuasive evidence that Michael Avenatti illegally pressured Ms. Bechard’s former lawyer to hand over her confidential information. We think that ruling speaks for itself, and we will vigorously oppose all of Mr. Avenatti’s attempts to avoid answering to a jury for his misconduct.”
Avenatti says he plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.
Davidson, who is also the former attorney of Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal in different cases, is also a defendant in the case. He is accused of breaching the agreement by telling Avenatti about it, while also poorly representing his client and pressuring her to get an abortion.
In court documents, Bechard accuses Davidson of making “thinly veiled threats that ‘she should be very very careful’ and she had better sign the settlement agreement and have an abortion.”
“The idea that Mr. Davidson pressured Ms. Bechard to have an abortion is preposterous. That was her decision alone, as was her decision to accept a $1.6 million settlement. Ms. Bechard should be offended that her attorneys, or anyone else, would suggest otherwise,” Paul Berra, Davidson’s attorney, said in a statement.
Avenatti told CNN he was “pleased that the judge sided with him and the media to unseal the documents.” The judge also threw out two of the accusations against him.
The person who represented Broidy in crafting the confidentiality agreement with Bechard is also a well-known name: Michael Cohen, who was then Trump’s personal attorney. Cohen is not being sued in this case.
Before the details of Broidy and Bechard’s affair became public, Broidy had agreed to pay Bechard in $200,000 installments for an unspecified personal injury in the deal.
Broidy’s attorney recently argued in the press that their agreement was null and void after the affair was leaked to the press.
Broidy stepped down from his position at the RNC after admitting to the affair with Bechard.