Los Angeles-based artist Ashley “Illma” Gore says she wants President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen to “fess up” about threatening her over an unflattering nude portrait of Trump — after Cohen again denied doing so, despite turning against the president.
Cohen recently testified to Congress he threatened people about 500 times on Trump’s orders, but he told the Washington Examiner he never threatened Gore, as she alleges.
“I was kind of hoping something would come up with the document searches and everything — or that he would fess up,” Gore said. She said it's “disappointing that nothing has come of it.”
Cohen said through his attorney Lanny Davis that the 2016 artwork was “campaign-related," so he didn’t get involved.
Gore’s "Make America Great Again" depicts Trump with a small penis. It commanded headlines shortly before Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., mocked Trump’s hand size — prompting Trump during a GOP debate in March 2016 to defend the size of his genitals.
“Mr. Cohen never called or spoke to this artist and stands by his earlier statements and that the matter was campaign-related, and thus he referred to the then counsel to the campaign, Don McGahn, and heard nothing further,” Davis said after speaking with Cohen.
Gore, who released an apology to Trump in December "for the role I played in the criticism of your body," said Cohen called her twice from a blocked number and threatened to sue her for violating Trump’s right of publicity, or legal right to control the commercial use of his image.
“You’re calling the wrong guy,” Cohen told a reporter at the time. “Nobody claiming to [be] me reached out, that’s a lie, and I don’t believe you on that either. Nobody is using my name, that’s for sure. This is campaign-related, I don’t really have the time to get involved.”
Since then, Cohen has broken with the president, telling Congress in February that during a decade of service to Trump, his threats included warnings to colleges not to release Trump’s grades or SAT scores. House Republicans allege that Cohen told multiple lies during his testimony.
Cohen worked at the Trump Organization during the 2016 campaign. He would have been allowed to volunteer his time to the Trump campaign, but Federal Election Commission rules say under certain circumstances, volunteer work could count as a campaign contribution.
Cohen reports for a three-year prison sentence May 6 after pleading guilty last year to tax and bank fraud, a campaign finance violation for brokering hush money to women alleging affairs with Trump, and to lying to Congress about a Trump project in Russia.
In Gore's apology to Trump, she wrote, “I am sincerely sorry. ... You, as a human being, do not deserve to be judged by fictional ideas of your body by anyone.”
But Gore proceeded to release additional nudes of world figures on her NSFW Instagram account, including images of Vice President Mike Pence, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, former drug company CEO Martin Shkreli, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.