The Wall Street Journal recently triggered a new scandal for President Donald Trump when it reported that his lawyer, Michael Cohen, had paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about a decade-old sexual relationship she had with the future president. Cohen released a statement from Daniels denying she had engaged in any “sexual and/or romantic affair” with Trump. But immediately other accounts emerged challenging that denial.
Slate’s Jacob Weisberg reported that in 2016, Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, told him that in 2006 she and Trump began a sexual relationship that lasted nearly a year. The Daily Beast published a story citing friends of Daniels saying she had told them about a fling with Trump. In Touch published an interview with Daniels from 2011 in which she herself described having a sexual affair with Trump.
And Mother Jones learned that Daniels years earlier talked about having had a sexual relationship with Trump—and in lurid detail. According to 2009 emails between political operatives who were at the time advising Daniels on a possible political campaign, the adult film actor and director claimed that her affair with Trump included an unusual act: spanking him with a copy of Forbes magazine.
In early 2009, Daniels announced that she was considering challenging Sen. David Vitter, the Louisiana Republican who two years earlier had been snared in a sex scandal. Vitter’s phone number was discovered in the records of the so-called D.C. Madam, who ran a prostitution ring in the nation’s capital.
Vitter, who now is a lobbyist, was a prominent social conservative who opposed abortion and gay marriage. Daniels, who grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, told reporters she wanted to highlight his hypocrisy. She offered up a potential campaign slogan: “Stormy Daniels: Screwing people honestly.”
Daniels was serious enough about running that she embarked on a May 2009 “listening tour” of the state and held discussions with local political consultants. Those conversations included coming up with possible campaign contributors.
Donald Trump was one of those names. Daniels political consultants were surprised that Trump’s name was in Daniels’ cell phone contacts, and that’s when she reportedly told them that one time Trump made her sit with him for three hours watching ‘shark week.’ Another time he had her spank him with a Forbes magazine.
In an interview with In Touch, Daniels described the first time she met Trump—at a July 2006 celebrity golf tournament—he invited her to his hotel room and they had sex.
She shared details of their encounter, including that Trump allegedly did not use a condom and that he asked her to autograph a DVD of her pornographic movie 3 Wishes. She also said that Trump compared her to his daughter Ivanka, saying: “He told me once that I was someone to be reckoned with, beautiful and smart, just like his daughter.”
According to fellow porn star Alana Evans—who was Daniels’ close friend at the time, Daniels confided in her that she and Trump were intimate.
She recounted a telephone call she had from Daniels, who was with Trump in his hotel room:
“Stormy calls me four or five times, by the last two phone calls she’s with Donald [Trump] and I can hear him, and he’s talking through the phone to me saying, ‘Oh come on Alana, let’s have some fun! Let’s have some fun! Come to the party, we’re waiting for you.’ And I was like, ‘OMG it’s Donald Trump!’ Men like him scare me because they have so much power and this was way before his presidential nomination. So I bailed on them and turned my phone off.”
According to The Smoking Gun, Daniels was married to Michael Mosny at the time, who told the publication that his then-wife had a close relationship with Trump, who’d allegedly promised her a part on his reality-competition program The Apprentice. Mosny claimed that Trump would phone their Los Angeles home frequently to talk with Daniels, and that he invited her to numerous events—including the January 2007 launch of Trump vodka (where she was photographed), the Miss USA pageant in March of that year at the Kodak Theatre in L.A., and that they’d even met one night at the Beverly Hills Hotel.