Columbus Agrees To Settle Stormy Daniels Lawsuit For $450,000

Sep 27, 2019

Stormy Daniels has settled a civil suit with the city of Columbus and a group of former Vice Unit officers who arrested her last year at a strip club.

Daniels agreed to a $450,000 settlement Friday to end her civil suit against the city of Columbus, as well as five Columbus Police officers from the now-shuttered Vice Unit. A spokeswoman for the city attorney noted all parties agreed the settlement was fair given the facts and circumstances involved.

Columbus City Council will have to sign off on the settlement.

Daniels was arrested at the Columbus strip club Sirens under Ohio's so-called "Community Defense Act" in July 2018, along with two other dancers. The law prohibits physical contact between regular adult performers and audience members.

But City Attorney Zach Klein dropped the charges two days after her arrest, arguing the law was unenforceable. He dropped charges against the other women soon after.

Timeline: Investigation Of Columbus Police Vice Unit

In her civil suit, Daniels alleged her arrest was politically motivated because she had begun speaking publicly about an affair she had with President Donald Trump. She named detectives Shana Keckley, Mary Praither, Steve Rosser and Whitney Lancaster, plus two unnamed officers, as defendants.

An internal police investigation determined Daniels was improperly arrested, but didn’t find the officers were politically motivated.

In January, Columbus City Council approved a $150,000 settlement with Miranda Panda and Brittany Walters, who were arrested alongside Daniels and sued the city for false arrest and defamation.

Columbus Police Interim Chief Tom Quinlan eliminated the Vice Unit in March, replacing it with the Police And Community Together Team. An FBI investigation into the unit is still ongoing.

Earlier this month, Quinlan  recommended the firing of Rosser and Lancaster, along with suspensions or reprimands for three supervisors involved in Daniels' arrest. Those punishments must be approved by the city's Public Safety Director.