Meet Stormy Daniels, the porn star Michael Cohen says Trump told him to pay $130,000 to cover up an alleged sexual affair

Ethan Miller/GettyStormy Daniels.
  • Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is a porn star who met President Donald Trump in 2006.
  • She says they had an affair, and Trump’s longtime fixer Michael Cohen paid Daniels $US130,000 days before the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet.
  • On August 21, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts, including one count of an illegal campaign contribution for the Daniels payment, which he said in sworn testimony he made at Trump’s direction to influence the election.
  • Here is Daniels’ life story.

Porn star and director Stormy Daniels says she met President Donald Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe in July 2006, and the two allegedly began an affair.

He was married to Melania Trump at the time, who had just given birth to their son Barron.

Just weeks before the 2016 presidential election, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen paid $US130,000 so Daniels would keep silent about the alleged affair.

In January 2018, news of the hush money broke, and Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was thrust into the national spotlight.

She and her attorney Michael Avenatti then sued Trump and accused him of invalidating their agreement. She then told her story in a bombshell “60 Minutes” interview this past March.

On August 21, Cohen struck a plea deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to eight federal crimes, including five counts of tax evasion, one count of bank fraud, one count of making an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an illegal campaign finance contribution.

The illegal campaign contribution was made on October 27, 2016 – the day a $US130,000 payment to Daniels was finalised. Cohen also said Trump directed him to make the illegal campaign contribution to Daniels in order to influence the election.

Here’s what you should know about Stormy Daniels:


Daniels was born and raised in Louisiana.


She started stripping as a teenager and soon entered the porn business.


In 2002, she became the lead actress in a film for Wicked Pictures, a porn movie studio based in California.

Ethan Miller/GettyDaniels and comedian Emcee Pete Giovine greet fans in Las Vegas.

She has won numerous awards for her roles as both a performer and a director in adult scenes and films.


She has also had minor roles in more mainstream movies, including “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up,” and “Finding Bliss.” She appeared in the Maroon 5 music video “Wake Up Call” in 2007.

Sources: The Daily Beast, YouTube


She’s been married three times.

Wikipedia CommonsDaniels with her former husband and actor, Mike Moz.

Her current husband is fellow adult film actor Brendon Miller.

Ethan Miller/GettyMiller and Daniels attend the 2016 Adult Video News Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 23, 2016 in Las Vegas.

Before her marriage to Miller, Daniels stirred a bit of controversy after it was revealed that she was having a baby girl with her former boyfriend.

Matthew Simmons/GettyDaniels with comedian Dane Cook.

Source: The Daily Beast


In a 2012 interview, she addressed those who thought she was not fit to be a mother: “It’s just all the negativity towards the adult industry in general, or people’s fear,” she said.

Frazer Harrison/Getty ImagesStormy Daniels arrives at the 50th annual Grammy awards held at the Staples Center on February 10, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

Source: The Daily Beast


In 2009, she considered entering politics and challenging Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, who had been accused of engaging with a prostitute, for his seat. She told a reporter at the time that while she doesn’t think she’s the best person for the job, “I just think I’m a better choice than the senator they already have.”

Source: New York Daily News


That same year, she was arrested for a domestic violence misdemeanour following a dispute with her husband.

Source: The Huffington Post


She ultimately decided to not run for the Senate.


But in January 2018, she reemerged on the political scene, although perhaps not the way she had planned. The Wall Street Journal reported that she was paid more than $US100,000 in hush money over an alleged sexual encounter with President Donald Trump over a decade ago.

Source: WSJ


In an interview on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” after Trump’s 2018 State of the Union speech, Daniels refused to answer questions about the payment. Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, initially denied the existence of any payment.

Source: The Wall Street Journal


In February, Cohen admitted that he personally paid Daniels the money.


“Neither the Trump Organisation nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Cohen said. “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.”

Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.

In response, Daniels’ manager said Cohen’s admission invalidates a non-disclosure agreement her client signed that forbid her from speaking publicly about the money. The manager said things have changed. “Everything is off now, and Stormy is going to tell her story.”

Source: Associated Press


Then on March 6, Daniels sued Trump, arguing that he never signed his portion of the agreement. The lawsuit also said “attempts to intimidate Ms. Clifford into silence and ‘shut her up’ in order to ‘protect Mr. Trump’ continue unabated.”

Source: Business Insider


It’s clear that Daniels wants to tell her side of the story about her and Trump’s alleged 2006 affair. And she finally got that chance in a “60 Minutes” interview that aired on March 25.

Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesAdult film actress and director Stormy Daniels hosts a Super Bowl party at Sapphire Las Vegas Gentlemen’s Club in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 4, 2018.

Source: Business Insider


She told Anderson Cooper a man threatened to keep quiet about her relationship with Trump in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011. Daniels also wouldn’t rule out that there may be photos or videos proving she had an affair with Trump.

AP via CBSDaniels appears on ’60 Minutes.’

Source: Business Insider


In April, Trump publicly acknowledged the $US130,000 payment to Daniels for the first time by denying he knew about the payment or where the money came from.

Source: Business Insider


The FBI seized records of the $US130,000 payment to Daniels and recordings of phone calls between Cohen and Daniels’ lawyer during a raid on Cohen’s office and home in April.

Source: BusinessInsider


Also in April, Daniels released a sketch of the man she says threatened her in a Las Vegas parking lot to stay quiet about her affair with Trump in 2011.

Screenshot/The ViewA sketch of the man Stormy Daniels says threatened her in a parking lot in 2011.

Source: Business Insider


Outside of a Manhattan courthouse, Daniels said Cohen “acted like he is above the law” and “played by a different set of rules.” “That ends now,” Daniels said.

Source: Business Insider


In a stunning admission, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said the president was aware of the $US130,000 payment to Daniels at the time and reimbursed Cohen in installments over several months as part of Cohen’s salary.

Source: Business Insider


Trump responded to Giuliani’s comments by saying that the payment was legal and that his lawyer would “get his facts straight” on the Daniels case.

Source: BusinessInsider


In a highly criticised statement, Giuliani took aim at Daniels’ credibility: “If you’re a feminist and you support the porn industry, you should turn in your credentials. I respect women—beautiful women and women with value — but a woman who sells her body for sexual exploitation I don’t respect.”

Screenshot via NBCRudy Giuliani.

Source: Business Insider


Avenatti responded by calling for Giuliani to be fired and dubbing Trump’s lawyer as a “misogynist” and “absolute pig.”

Source: Business Insider


In July, Daniels was arrested in Columbus, Ohio for allowing a customer to touch her while performing at a strip club.

Franklin County Sheriff’s OfficeStormy Daniels’ mug shot.

Source: BusinessInsider


Avenatti described the arrest as a “setup” that he says was “politically motivated.” The prosecutors later dropped all three misdemeanour charges against her.

Source: BusinessInsider


On July 23, Daniels’ husband, Glendon Crain, filed for divorce.

Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesStormy Daniels

Source: Business Insider


On August 21, Cohen struck a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to eight federal crimes, including one count of making an illegal campaign finance contribution.

Source: Business Insider


Cohen made the illegal campaign contribution on October 27, 2016 — the same day a $US130,000 payment to Daniels was finalised.

Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesStormy Daniels.

Source: Business Insider


Cohen said in his guilty plea that Trump directed him to make the illegal campaign contribution to Daniels in order to influence the election. Trump has called Cohen a liar, and accused him of making up the story to get a plea deal.

Source: Business Insider


Daniels celebrated the news by tweeting: “How ya like me now?! #teamstormy.” She also thanked Avenatti in another tweet.

Getty Images/Ethan MillerAdult film actress/director Stormy Daniels attends the 2018 Adult Video News Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 27, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Source: Business Insider


When Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt asked whether he knew about Cohen’s payments to Daniels and the former Playboy model Karen McDougal, Trump said he knew “later on.” “They didn’t come out of the campaign — they came from me,” Trump said.

Fox NewsPresident Donald Trump appears on ‘Fox & Friends’ with host Ainsley Earhardt.

Sources: Business Insider, Fox News


In a statement to NBC News, Daniels said: “Michael and I are vindicated and we look forward to the apologies from the people who claimed we were wrong.”

Tara Ziemba/Getty ImagesStormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti.

Source: Business Insider

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