When adult film star Jessica Drake accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct a month before the presidential election, Trump said through a spokesperson that he didn’t know the woman and had “no interest in ever knowing her.”
Less than a week later, a woman named Angel Ryan was listed in a secret settlement agreement negotiated by Trump’s personal attorney as having “confidential information” about the then-Republican nominee.
The two occurrences may appear unrelated. But there is a connection: Drake, the woman who accused Trump, and Ryan, the woman named in the non-disparagement agreement, are the same person, according to interviews and documents reviewed by CNN.
The connection raises new questions about the circumstances surrounding the controversial agreement in which Trump attorney Michael Cohen sought to protect his longtime client and friend.
In a section dealing with “prior disclosures” of “confidential information,” the agreement cites four people with whom Clifford had already shared such information.
One of them was Angel Ryan.
Online records reviewed by CNN show that Ryan obtained a trademark registration for the name Jessica Drake.
Gloria Allred, Ryan’s attorney, confirmed the link for CNN.
“Jessica Drake is still my client. She is Angel Ryan and the one whose name is in the settlement agreement,” Allred told CNN. She said her client was never contacted about Clifford’s settlement agreement.
Allred would not comment on Ryan’s relationship with Clifford, or the timing of her 2016 disclosure being so close to the drafting of Clifford’s agreement.
Both Clifford and Ryan worked for Wicked Entertainment and both said they attended a 2006 golf outing in Lake Tahoe, also attended by Trump.
Clifford said in this week’s court filing that she began “an intimate relationship” with Trump that summer, which continued into 2007.
At the press conference in October 2016, Ryan, joined by Allred, said she was subjected to unwanted sexual advances by Trump at the golf tournament. She said he kissed her without asking and offered to pay her for sex.
Trump campaign officials denied the allegations and said the candidate did not know his accuser.
Six days later, Drake’s real name appeared in the agreement related to Clifford.
Cohen has publicly acknowledged using his own money to facilitate the payment to Clifford in the weeks before the presidential election. He said Trump had no knowledge that he was planning do so or had done so. He said Trump “vehemently denies” Clifford’s allegations.
The agreement specified three other people with whom Clifford had shared “confidential information.” They are an ex-husband, a business manager, and a photographer.
All three either declined comment or could not be reached.
CNN’s Drew Griffin and Sara Sidner contributed to this report.