Columbus police chief Kim Jacobs said in a statement Thursday afternoon that “a mistake was made” during the arrest of adult film star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, at an Ohio strip club Wednesday night. Jacobs said her department will review the arresting officers’ motivations internally.
The incident, for which Jacobs takes “full responsibility,” occurred after Daniels allowed undercover detectives to touch her bare breasts at Columbus’ Sirens Gentlemen’s Club. The actress was scheduled to perform there Wednesday and Thursday nights.
Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, called the arrest “a setup.” Three misdemeanor charges against her were dropped just hours after the arrest.
″[O]ne element of the law was missed in error,” Jacobs said, adding that officers “were well within their area of responsibility when taking enforcement action.”
Although a 2007 Ohio law bars nude or seminude performers from touching patrons who are not family members while performing, it only applies to “regular” performers. Daniels had never performed at Sirens before.
“While the presence of Vice officers at this establishment is reasonable, the motivations behind the officers’ actions will be reviewed internally to ensure that our Core Values and duty to serve our community to the best of our ability continue to be the basis for our actions,” Jacobs said. The department’s website defines its core values as professionalism, respect, integrity, discipline and enthusiasm.
Daniels said she was “saddened” to hear that charges were not dropped for two other dancers arrested at Sirens Wednesday night, and pledged to help cover their legal fees.
The actress is suing President Donald Trump to void a nondisclosure agreement signed shortly before the 2016 presidential election. She received a $130,000 payment to stay quiet about her claim that she had sex with Trump in 2006, yet questions about the payment remain.
Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, bashed his client’s arrest Thursday, saying that it was “politically motivated.” He claimed the officers had “very pro-Trump” social media pages.
Daniels performed early Friday morning at Vanity Gentlemen’s Club in Columbus after the owner of Sirens declined to host her again. She appeared onstage for about 20 minutes and did not interact with any patrons, The Associated Press reported.