Stormy Daniels' strip club arrest charges dropped

  • Published
Media caption,

Video shows Stormy Daniels being escorted, in handcuffs, from a police van and into Franklin County Correctional Facility

Charges against US adult film star Stormy Daniels have been dropped less than 24 hours after she was arrested in a strip club in Columbus, Ohio.

Ms Daniels was arrested for allegedly touching a patron in Sirens, the venue where she was performing.

Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, shared a court document saying the case was dismissed on Thursday.

Ms Daniels hit the headlines after alleging she had slept with President Donald Trump in 2006, which he denies.

Mr Avenatti had earlier called the arrest "a setup" and "politically motivated".

Columbus police chief Kim Jacobs said on Thursday her arrest was a "mistake" because of a misinterpretation of the law.

Ohio law prohibiting physical contact between strippers and customers applies only to those who "regularly" dance at a club.

Ms Daniels performed for the first time at the Sirens club in Columbus.

"A mistake was made, and I accept full responsibility," Chief Jacobs told the AP hours after the charges were dropped.

A police charge sheet tweeted by a CBS News reporter says Ms Daniels touched a police officer posing as a patron "in a specified anatomical area".

She was accused of rubbing undercover police officers' faces against her breasts during her performance.

Documents posted on the Franklin County Municipal Court website showed Ms Daniels had posted $6,054 (£4,586) in bail.

Image source, Franklin County Sheriff's Office
Image caption,
The Franklin County Sheriff's Office in Columbus provided Ms Daniels' mug shot

Mr Avenatti tweeted that Ms Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, had been performing "the same act she has performed across the nation at nearly 100 strip clubs".

Mr Avenatti posted a statement from Ms Daniels saying she would not be able to go ahead with Friday night's show.

"I deeply apologise to my fans in Columbus," the statement read.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

After charges were dropped, Mr Avenatti tweeted his thanks to the prosecutors' office "for their professionalism".

An Ohio law known as the Community Defense Act proscribes anyone touching a nude or semi-nude dancer, unless they are related.

The Sirens venue tweeted last month to say Ms Daniels would make two "exclusive appearances" there.

A person who answered the phone at Sirens declined to comment.

Ms Daniels says that she was paid $130,000 (£98,000) shortly before the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet about her alleged sexual encounter with Mr Trump.

She is trying to free herself from a non-disclosure agreement signed before the election, and suing over a "defamatory" tweet by the US president earlier this year. Mr Trump denies all allegations.