Who is Stormy Daniels, the adult movie star linked to Trump’s indictment?
Here’s what to know about Daniels, and what she says happened with Trump.
Trump indicted by New York grand jury, first ex-president charged with felony
Stormy Daniels, 44, – real name Stephanie Clifford – is a Baton Rouge-born adult film actress and director. She was well known in the adult film industry, where she won awards, and also made cameo appearances in a number of director Judd Apatow’s films, including “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”
She describes herself as a “paranormal investigator/medium” on Twitter, and is also known for her fondness for horses.
In his 2018 memoir “Full Disclosure,” Daniels detailed an unhappy childhood with an absent father, as well as dark episodes of sexual abuse by a child molester when he was 9 years old. In high school, where she says she excelled academically, she started working. as a stripper and later transitioned into performing, writing and directing in the adult film industry, achieving wide acclaim. She said childhood abuse played no part in her career choice and she was proud of her success in the industry.
In 2009, Daniels considered running for the U.S. Senate seat in Louisiana then held by David Vitter, a family-value Republican linked to a prostitution ring run by the “DC Madam,” saying voters drafted her. In the end, she did not run, but her campaign attracted national media attention. At one point, she told reporters her campaign slogan would be “Screw People Honestly.” On another occasion, in a 2009 interview posted on YouTube, Daniels said, “Call me what you want, but you can’t call me a hypocrite.”
Daniels became a global name in 2018, after claiming she had an affair with Donald Trump at a celebrity golf tournament at a Lake Tahoe resort in 2006. Trump has denied the affair.
What happened between Daniels and Trump?
Daniels told reporters in interviews that she met Trump at a golf tournament and was invited to dinner with him in his hotel suite in 2006. In her account, they then had consensual sex . She was 27 at the time and Trump was 60 and already married to Melania.
Trump – who is campaigning to return to the White House in 2024 – has denied the relationship.
Daniels’ allegations only became public in 2018 – and received widespread media attention after the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen brokered a secret payment $130,000 to guarantee his silence days before the 2016 presidential election.
In a widely-watched interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” in 2018, Daniels went into detail about his alleged encounter with Trump in 2006, saying he tried to impress him by showing a magazine with his face on the cover, and that they had joked about his spanking. him with it.
Why did Trump’s lawyer pay Daniels?
Cohen said he called Daniels after Trump won the GOP nomination, offering to pay her in exchange for her silence. He said he acted at the direction of Trump and the payment was intended to influence the 2016 election by preventing Daniels’ story from becoming public.
Daniels said she took the money in the fall of 2016 to protect her baby and her career. She said she felt pressured to sign a nondisclosure agreement and a statement denying the affair had taken place – but spoke out after the Wall Street Journal reported on the payment.
The porn star, the checks and the president: Trump’s sordid path to peril
Trump denied her claims, saying, “I never had an affair with Stormy Daniels, nor would I have wanted to have an affair with Stormy Daniels.”
He had initially denied knowledge of the payment, before later admitting that he had authorized Cohen to do so. However, he said, the payment was made to put an end to Stormy’s “false and extortionate accusations”.
How does the payment relate to Trump’s indictment?
The indictment has been sealed, meaning the specific charge or charges are not known to the public.
However, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, appears to have investigated whether Trump falsified business documents by reimbursing his lawyer, Cohen, for pay Daniels the $130,000.
What did Stormy Daniels say about the case?
Daniels did not explicitly address the indictment and its consequences, but in a Tweeter Thursday seemed to be a party.
“Thank you all for your support and love!” she says. “I have so many messages coming in that I can’t reply…I don’t want to spill my champagne either,” she added.
What we know about the Donald Trump-Stormy Daniels payment case
Daniels has previously spoken of the “toll” the public spotlight has taken on her “mentally and physically after months and months of always looking over your shoulder,” she told Dutch media in 2018, adding that she now travels with bodyguards.
She said her decision to speak out was partly a response to feeling “bullied” by Trump and his associates.
“I may never have a normal life again,” she said. “I think it was definitely worth it.”
A mother-of-one, she also said the stress of her public role contributed to the breakdown of her marriage at the time.
But she pointed out to CNN in 2018, “I’m not a victim.”
Thank you all for your support and love! I have so many messages coming in that I can’t reply… I don’t want to spill my champagne either 😜 #Teamstormy Merchandising/autograph orders are also coming in! Thanks for that too, but allow a few extra days for shipping.
—Stormy Daniels (@StormyDaniels) March 30, 2023
Mark Berman, Frances Stead Sellers, Paul Farhi, Shayna Jacobs, Josh Dawsey, Devlin Barrett, Jacqueline Alemany and Derek Hawkins contributed to this report.