Who is Stormy Daniels? The Woman Whose Alleged Affair with Donald Trump Has Become a Major Scandal


Stormy Daniels is a well-known adult film actor, screenwriter, and director. She was a Penthouse Pet of the Month in 2007 and also works as a stripper, which she started when she was 17 years old. Daniels has appeared in mainstream films such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and a Maroon 5 music video, in addition to her adult work. She came to national attention in 2018 after news broke about her alleged 2006 affair with Donald Trump, which he has denied, and a subsequent payment she received in 2016, before the United States presidential election, for signing an agreement not to discuss her relationship with the then-presidential candidate.

Early Life

Stormy Daniels was born on March 17, 1979, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as Stephanie Gregory Clifford. Sheila Gregory and Bill Gregory, Daniels’ parents, divorced when she was a toddler. Her mother raised her in Baton Rouge, and her father had little involvement in her upbringing. Daniels graduated from Scotlandville Magnet High School in 1997. Despite being accepted by several colleges, she chose to become a stripper instead.

Career as a Stripper and Adult Film Actor

Daniels began stripping when she was 17 years old. Stormy was already her nickname in real life, so it became her stage name; she went by Stormy Waters before taking inspiration from Jack Daniel’s whiskey to become Stormy Daniels. She worked her way up to headlining at strip clubs before venturing into pornography.

Daniels has risen to the top of the adult film industry since her first pornographic film in 2002 (in which she appeared in a lesbian scene). She has been inducted into three halls of fame and is the recipient of numerous awards. She is a successful writer and director in addition to acting. Good Will Humping and Space Nuts are two of Daniels’ films. She wrote, directed, and starred in the award-winning Western epic Wanted. She also incorporated her equestrian interests into Unbridled, a film about equestrian competitions in which she acted, wrote, and directed.

Daniels was a contract player for Wicked Pictures, a leading brand in adult entertainment, for many years. When she decided to have a child, she worked with the studio to ensure that motherhood didn’t interfere with her career too much: before becoming pregnant, she made twice as many films as usual, ensuring that new releases would continue to arrive during her maternity leave. Daniels signed with Digital Playground, another well-known studio in the industry, in January 2018.

Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump Scandal

Daniels claims she had an affair with Trump after meeting him in July 2006 at the American Century celebrity golf tournament. According to Daniels’ account, the two had consensual sex in Trump’s hotel room that weekend. Daniels claims they kept in touch until 2007, in part because Trump offered Daniels a role on NBC’s The Apprentice reality TV franchise (an appearance that did not happen). Trump, whose wife Melania gave birth to their son months before the alleged affair, has denied any affair occurred.

Daniels spoke with a reporter about the alleged affair in 2011, but the interview was not published until In Touch published it in 2018. Daniels was speaking to media outlets, including ABC’s Good Morning America, about sharing her story in 2016, before the presidential election. Instead of coming forward, she accepted a $130,000 payment in exchange for signing an agreement not to discuss her relationship with Trump. The agreement was completed in October.

The Wall Street Journal published an article in January 2018 about this nondisclosure agreement and the alleged sexual encounter. Following this, Daniels initially denied any such meeting with Trump, even going so far as to sign a statement to that effect. She later claimed that the alleged affair did occur and that she was pressured to remain silent and conceal the truth.

‘In Touch’ Interview

Daniels spoke to Life & Style, an In Touch sister publication, about her relationship with Trump in 2011. She was promised a payment of $15,000 for this. People close to Daniels were also able to confirm some of the details in her version of events, according to the publication. However, before any article was published in 2011, Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen allegedly threatened to sue, and the story was dropped. The $15,000 payment was not made to Daniels.

Following the 2018 Wall Street Journal story about Daniels’ $130,000 payout, In Touch published the 2011 interview. Daniels claims in the book that Trump once told her she was beautiful and smart like his daughter Ivanka. Daniels also revealed that, while she enjoyed talking with Trump, she wasn’t physically attracted to him when she agreed to have se.x with him.


Daniels initially denied having an affair with Trump following the Wall Street Journal article (Trump’s camp also strongly denied any relationship between the two). But Daniels soon began giving interviews, including one on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on January 30, 2018, following Trump’s State of the Union address.

Following the terms of the NDA, Cohen went to a private arbitrator in February to prevent Daniels from discussing her relationship with Trump; a temporary restraining order was granted. Cohen also admitted making the $130,000 payment that month. He claimed he used his own money and that neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign were involved.

On March 6, Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti (who was not representing her at the time the NDA was signed in 2016) filed a lawsuit to have the NDA annulled, claiming that Trump never signed the contract (the agreement uses the pseudonyms Peggy Peterson for Daniels and David Dennison for Trump, and there are places marked for Dennison to sign). According to the lawsuit, some of Cohen’s public statements violated the NDA.

In addition to claiming that Trump was not required to sign the NDA, Cohen’s team claimed that by accepting the payment and not contesting the contract for months, Daniels acknowledged its legitimacy. On March 16, a lawsuit was filed against Daniels seeking $20 million in damages for multiple breaches of the NDA (the penalty stipulated in the agreement was for Daniels to pay $1 million for each breach). Trump became involved in the case.

Trump told reporters on Air Force One on April 5 that he was unaware of the payment Cohen made to Daniels for signing the NDA and had no idea where the money came from.

Trump filed paperwork in Central California federal court in September 2018 stating that he would not seek to enforce the NDA. Trump’s lawyer asked a judge to dismiss Daniels’ lawsuit because her claim for declaratory relief was no longer valid. According to court documents, a federal judge in Los Angeles officially dismissed the lawsuit in March 2019 because Trump and Cohen agreed not to enforce the NDA.

Cohen also got into legal trouble that fall, partly because of his payment to Daniels. He pleaded guilty in federal court in August to eight counts, including campaign finance violations for “intending to influence the 2016 presidential election” with the payment. In December 2018, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison.

’60 Minutes’ Interview

Daniels spoke at length with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes on March 25, 2018. Daniels claims in this interview that she was threatened in 2011 after speaking to a reporter about her alleged affair with Trump. According to Daniels, she was in Las Vegas with her baby daughter when a man approached her and said, “Leave Trump alone.” “Forget the story,” she says, before turning to face her daughter and saying, “That’s a beautiful little girl.” It would be tragic if something happened to her mother.”

Cooper asked Daniels why she had publicly denied the affair during the interview. She responded that she had done so under duress, saying, “They can make your life hell in a variety of ways.” Daniels also stated that she signed the NDA in 2016 out of concern for her family’s safety and peace of mind. But she had now come forward because “I’m not OK with being accused of lying.”

New Suit Against Trump

After a California judge halted her lawsuit against Cohen for 90 days while a criminal investigation into him continued in New York, Daniels filed a new suit in April 2018 through her attorney, Avenatti, accusing President Trump of defamation.

The suit centered on the president’s efforts to debunk her account of being confronted in a parking lot, including his April 18 tweet mocking the composite sketch of her alleged assailant as a “total con job.” According to Avenatti and Daniels, she was harmed for more than $75,000 as a result of his actions.

According to the suit, “it was clear that Mr. Trump intended to convey that Ms. Clifford is a liar, someone who should not be trusted, that her claims about the threatening encounter are false, and that she was falsely accusing the individual depicted in the sketch of committing a crime, where no crime had been committed.” “Mr. Trump made his statement either knowing it was false, with serious doubts about its truth, or with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity.”

In October 2018, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero dismissed the lawsuit in California and ordered Daniels to pay Trump’s legal fees. According to ABC News, he stated that Trump’s tweet “constitutes ‘rhetorical hyperbole,’ which is typically associated with politics and public discourse in the United States.”

Daniels filed an appeal, but the ruling was upheld by a federal appeals court in March 2022. Daniels was ordered to pay nearly $300,000 in legal fees.

Career Post–Trump Scandal

Taking advantage of her moment in the spotlight, Daniels announced in June 2018 the release of Truth, a new perfume. It’s the Bomb, an erotic novelty brand, would distribute the gender-neutral fragrance. It was released in July 2018 and costs $64.99.

Daniels also raised her fees for a national strip club tour. She explained to Rolling Stone, “We live in a capitalist society.” I believe that if anyone in any field was approached and said, ‘Hi! You know that job you already have? Would you like to do it next week for four times your regular pay?’ Show me one person who would refuse to say no.”

Daniels was arrested early on July 12, 2018, while performing at a strip club in Columbus, Ohio. According to state law, anyone who appears nude or seminude on a regular basis is prohibited from touching patrons on the premises of a sexually oriented business. Daniels allegedly drew customers to her exposed chest before doing the same to detectives who approached her.

Daniels was charged with three misdemeanor counts of illegally touching a customer and released after posting bail of $6,054. Meanwhile, Avenatti, her attorney, slammed the arrest for “performing the same act she has performed across the country at nearly a hundred strip clubs.” He vowed to fight the “bogus charges,” but faced little opposition when the charges were dropped later in the day of Daniels’ arrest.

Mainstream Entertainment

Daniels has appeared in films such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007), and Pineapple Express in addition to adult entertainment (2008). Judd Apatow, the producer and director, praised Daniels, telling Conan O’Brien, “She’s very nice, super smart, and great to work with, so we just kept asking her to be in all of our movies.” Other television appearances include Party Down and Dirt, as well as a music video for Maroon 5’s “Wake Up Call.”

U.S. Senate Run

Daniels formed a committee in 2009 to investigate running for Senate in her home state of Louisiana. Republican Senator David Vitter, a social conservative who was embroiled in the “D.C. Madam” prostitution scandal, was up for re-election at the time. Daniels used the campaign slogan “Screwing People Honestly” to attack her opponent. (At the time, political consultants working with Daniels discovered she had Trump’s phone number among her contacts, and she allegedly shared details about the alleged affair.)

Daniels was arrested in 2009 during this exploratory phase on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge, which was later dropped. She called it quits on her campaign in April 2010, blaming it on campaign expenses. She also promised to “keep fighting so that one day the dishwashers, cashiers, bus drivers, and porn stars’ voices will be heard just as loudly as the lawyer, banker, and insurance company executive’s.”

Personal Life

Daniels has always had a fondness for horses, which she has carried with her into adulthood. She is a nationally ranked equestrian and owns several horses.

In terms of her family life, Daniels has lost contact with her parents. She has four marriages and one child.

Daniels married Pat Myne, an adult film actor and director born Bartholomew Clifford, in 2003; the couple divorced in 2005. In Daniels’ nondisclosure agreement, her second husband, Mike Moz (real name Mike Mosney), was listed as knowing about her alleged affair with Trump. The couple was married from 2007 to 2009.

Daniels and her then-boyfriend Glendon Crain had a daughter in 2011. Brendan Miller, a musician and fellow adult film star, is Crain’s stage name. Daniels and Crain married in 2015, but he divorced in July 2018.

Daniels most recently married Barrett Blade, whom she met in 1998. Blade, whose real name is Russell Barrett, is also in the adult entertainment industry. According to Blade’s Instagram, the couple honeymooned in Mexico in October 2022.

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