Adult-film star Stephanie Clifford, better known as her stage name Stormy Daniels, on Sunday revealed the details of an alleged affair with President Donald Trump, telling Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes that she felt threatened into remaining silent about the alleged affair and later was pressured to deny it.
During the sit-down, which aired in prime time across the U.S., Daniels said she feared for her and her family’s safety, and opted to sign a nondisclosure agreement instead of going public and cashing in for more money.
“I think the fact that I didn’t even negotiate, I just quickly said yes to this very, you know, strict contract,” Daniels said. “And what most people will agree with me extremely low number. It’s all the proof I need.”
Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, has acknowledged making a $130,000 payment to Daniels in October 2016, just days before the presidential election. Daniels has said the payment was made as part of the nondisclosure agreement in order to buy her silence about an alleged affair with Trump. She says their tryst took place in July 2006 at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, not long after Melania Trump had given birth to their son, Barron.
According to Daniels, Trump said during their initial encounter in his hotel room that she reminded him of his daughter Ivanka. Former Playboy model Karen McDougal—who alleges a 10-month affair with Trump that also included that same weekend in Tahoe—said in an interview last week that Trump made a similar comment to her.
Daniels said the pair became more comfortable with each other after she instructed Trump to pull down his pants so that she could spank him with a magazine, which featured his face on the cover.
“So he turned around and pulled his pants down a little—you know had underwear on and stuff and I just gave him a couple swats,” Daniels said.
Later, Daniels said, she used the bathroom in the hotel room. When she returned, Trump was sitting on the edge of the bed.
“I had it coming for making a bad decision for going to someone's room alone and I just heard the voice in my head, ‘Well, you put yourself in a bad situation and bad things happen, so you deserve this,’” she said.
According to Daniels, she and Trump had unprotected sex. She said that even though she did not want to have sex with him and was not physically attracted to him, it was entirely consensual.
After their first encounter, Daniels says, Trump invited her to different events and kept dangling the possibility of signing her as a contestant on The Apprentice. Daniels said she viewed it as a potential “business deal.” She met with him a year later in Beverly Hills where the pair watched Shark Week together for four hours and did not have sex. Trump said he would have an answer for her the following week about appearing on The Apprentice. Daniels ended up not getting a spot on the show.
Four years later, Daniels says she was physically threatened after Cohen found out that she had tried to tell her story to a celebrity gossip magazine. Daniels said she was in a parking lot with her infant daughter when a man approached her and said, “That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.” The man referenced the magazine story, saying: “Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.”
Daniels claims she signed the nondisclosure agreement days before the 2016 election because she was “concerned for my family and their safety.” She said she could have told her story in exchange for sums larger than $130,000, but thought it would be better to sign the “hush agreement” with Cohen because she “did not want my family and my child exposed to all the things that she’s being exposed to right now.”
Cohen claims Trump was never informed about the payment. Trump himself has yet to speak publicly about it, and the White House has dodged reporters’ questions on the matter. The New York Times reported on Sunday that Trump and Cohen dined together on Saturday at the president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach.
After The Wall Street Journal first reported on the existence of the payment, Daniels said she felt pressured by her attorney and business manager at the time to sign documents denying an affair with Trump. Those documents were released publicly.
“They made it sound like I had no choice,” she said. “I felt intimidated and honestly bullied. And I didn’t know what to do. And so I signed it.”
Daniels said she was compelled to come forward about the alleged affair in part because of the efforts to discredit her.
“I was perfectly fine saying nothing at all, but I’m not okay with being made out to be a liar, or people thinking that I did this for money and people are like, ‘Oh, you’re an opportunist. You’re taking advantage of this,’” Daniels said. “Yes, I’m getting more job offers now, but tell me one person who would turn down a job offer making more than they’ve been making, doing the same thing that they’ve always done?”
Daniels filed a lawsuit earlier this month alleging that the nondisclosure agreement is invalid because Trump never signed the contract. Even before the 60 Minutes interview aired, the lawyers involved in enforcing the agreement were seeking $20 million from Daniels in alleged violations. Those lawyers reportedly considered seeking an injunction to prevent the interview from airing.
In the run-up to the sit-down, Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, tweeted a photo of a disc inside a safe, apparently suggesting that photo or video evidence of the alleged affair exists. Avenatti, who also appeared in the 60 Minutes segment, declined to discuss whether such evidence exists. Avenatti previously said the interview would not cover all of the evidence because “that would be foolish.”