Stormy Daniels wants to make clear that her experience with Donald Trump shouldn’t be lumped in with the #MeToo movement. “This is not a Me Too,” she told “60 Minutes” reporter Anderson Cooper. “I was not a victim. I’ve never said I was a victim. I think trying to use me to further someone else’s agenda does horrible damage to people who are true victims.”
Cooper’s long-awaited chat with Daniels — the adult film actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — finally aired on Sunday night, but didn’t shed much more light on what has already been reported and discussed in the press.
But nonetheless, it was the first time that Daniels, on camera, gave details regarding her brief affair with Trump. In previous TV appearances, Daniels had been coy about their relationship. But on “60 Minutes,” she made it clear: They had sex in 2006, soon after meeting at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe.
Beyond the talk with Daniels, Cooper’s report investigated the potential legal ramifications for Trump. Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says he used $130,000 of his own money to pay Stormy Daniels, just days before the 2016 election. But that payment could have very well run afoul of campaign laws, as an illegal campaign contribution. Cohen has denied that it was any such thing.
Popular on IndieWire
Here are a few highlights from Cooper’s report on Stormy Daniels:
Daniels broke the ice by suggesting she spank Trump with a magazine. He obliged.
The adult film actress said Trump was showing her a picture of himself on the cover of a magazine. “I was like, ‘Does this normally work for you?’ And he looked very taken back… I was like, ‘Someone should take that magazine and spank you with it.'”
Daniels said she didn’t think anyone had ever spoken to him like that before. “I was like, turn around, drop ’em… 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,” she said. “From that moment on, he was a completely different person. He was like, ‘Wow, you– you are special. You remind me of my daughter.'”
Trump suggested that “Celebrity Apprentice” ought to cast Daniels.
Daniels laughed at the idea, knowing that NBC wouldn’t allow an adult film star to be on the show. But Trump was serious.
“He goes, “That’s why I want you. You’re gonna shock a lotta people, you’re smart, and they won’t know what to expect.”
Daniels said Trump continued to dangle the possibility in order to keep her interested in maintaining contact. “I mean, I’m not blind. But at the same time, maybe it’ll work out, you know?” she said. “I thought of it as a business deal.”
During another meeting, the two watched Discovery Channel’s Shark Week programming together — but they didn’t have sex again.
“He came and sat next to me and, you know, touched my hair, and put his hand on my leg, and referenced back to how great it was the last time,” she said. “I’d been there for, like, four hours. And so I then was like, ‘Well, before, you know, can we talk about what’s the development?’ And he was like, ‘I’m almost there. I’ll have an answer for you next week.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, cool. Well– I guess call me next week.’ And I just took my purse and left.”
Daniels and Trump did not use a condom during sex.
Asked by Cooper whether she asked him to — knowing that condom use is a hot-button subject in the porn industry — Daniels said, “I honestly didn’t say anything.”
After Daniels sold her story to In Touch magazine for $15,000, Trump attorney Michael Cohen managed to kill it by threatening to sue the magazine. Then, she was threatened by a man in Las Vegas.
“A guy walked up on me and said to me, ‘Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.’ And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, ‘That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.’ And then he was gone,” she said.
Cohen offered Daniels $130,000 not to tell her story; she took the deal 11 days before the 2016 election.
“The story was coming out again,” Daniels said of her decision to take the money. “I was concerned for my family and their safety… I turned down a large payday multiple times because one, I didn’t wanna kiss and tell and be labeled all the things that I’m being labeled now. I didn’t wanna take away from the legitimate and legal, I’d like to point out, career that I’ve worked very hard to establish. And most importantly, I did not want my family and my child exposed to all the things that she’s being exposed to right now.”
Why did she sign statements denying she had an affair with Trump? “I felt intimidated and honestly, bullied. And I didn’t know what to do. And so I signed it. Even though I had repeatedly expressed that I wouldn’t break the agreement, but I was not comfortable lying.”
Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said her non-disclosure agreement isn’t valid because Trump — using the alias “David Dennison” — never signed it.
“So why didn’t he? It just slipped his mind? It’s just a coincidence that, in the waning days of the campaign, he thought to himself, ‘Oh, you know, I know I’ve been thinkin’ about this for years. Perhaps now is a good time to get that NDA executed with Stormy Daniels,'” Avenatti said.
Daniels still won’t reveal whether she has Trump-related video images, still images, email messages, and text messages.
“My attorney has recommended that I don’t discuss those things,” she said.