Spanking, threats of violence, a hushed-up affair: on Sunday night the highly anticipated interview with Stormy Daniels, an adult film star who alleges she had an affair with Donald Trump, did not disappoint.
Speaking to Anderson Cooper ion CBS’s 60 Minutes programmes, Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, described having sex with the US President in 2006, and said she had been threatened to “leave Trump alone” when she had first tried to go public with the story.
Daniels is currently suing the US president over the validity of a nondisclosure agreement, which she signed shortly before the 2016 election, which prevented her from speaking out about the affair. Just days before the November 2016 election, Daniels signed the agreement in return for $130,000, allegedly paid for by Trump’s personal lawyer.
So what else did we learn? Here are five explosive claims Daniels made during the interview.
1. Daniels and Trump had an affair
Daniels said she was introduced to Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe in July, 2006, when he invited her to dinner and she met him in his hotel suite.
Daniels said Trump suggested she should appear in the US version of The Apprentice, and this, she said, made her think the encounter was going to be a “as a business deal”.
Trump was 60 at the time of the encounter, and Daniels was 27.
Daniels told Cooper she and Trump had sex only once, but that she had seen him on other occasions. Trump was already married to his wife, Melania, at the time of the alleged encounter.
Trump denies the affair.
2. Trump compared Daniels to his daughter
Trump compared Daniels to his daughter, Ivanka, 36, during the encounter, she said.
Daniels said: “He was like, ‘Wow, you are special. You remind me of my daughter’. You know he was like, ‘You’re smart and beautiful, and a woman to be reckoned with, and I like you. I like you’.”
3. There was spanking
Getting into the uncomfortable details of the alleged incident, Daniels claims Trump had shown her a magazine with his picture on the cover and she had jokingly spanked him with it.
Daniels said: “I was like: ‘Does this.. normally work for you?’ And he looked very taken back, like, he didn’t really understand what I was saying.”
She said she told Trump “someone should take that magazine and spank you with it”.
“I’ll never forget the look on his face,” she added: “I don’t think anyone’s ever spoken to him like that, especially, you know, a young woman who looked like me.
Daniels added: “So he turned around and pulled his pants down a little, you know (he) had underwear on and stuff and I just gave him a couple swats.”
4. Daniels was threatened to keep silent
Daniels also said she was threatened in 2011 when she threatened to go public about the affair.
Daniels said details of the affair began to leak to the press in 2011, and she gave an interview to the press for $15,000.
But she said the interview never ran and she was never paid. Daniels said that an unidentified man approached and threatened her in a parking lot while she was on her way to a fitness class with her child.
“And 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,” Daniels said.
5. Daniels was given ‘hush money’
The adult film star said that she did not go to the police after the alleged incident because she was scared.
She added that this influenced her decision to sign a nondisclosure agreement before the 2016 presidential election and accept $130,000 of what she calls “hush money” from Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen.
“I was concerned for my family and their safety,” she said.
Daniels is suing Trump, claiming she should be released from the agreement and be free to speak publicly of her former relationship with Trump as the president did not sign the document.
The White House has denied he had an affair with Daniels. Trump’s lawyers are threatening to make Daniels pay $1m every time she violates the nondisclosure agreement. “He knows I’m telling the truth,” she said of the president.
The adult film star and her lawyer Michael Avenatti have claimed before she has evidence of her affair with Trump.
Cooper also asked Daniels why she repeatedly signed statements denying the relationship with Trump, and acknowledged that there could be questions about her credibility.
“I felt intimidated and... honestly bullied. And I didn’t know what to do. And so I signed it,” Daniels said.
Asked why viewers could be confident now that she was telling the truth, she said: “Cause I have no reason to lie. I’m opening myself up for, you know, possible danger, and definitely a whole lot of shit,” she said.
After the interview screened, Cohen’s lawyer Brent Blakely wrote to Daniels’ attorney to say she made false and defamatory comments, “namely that he (Cohen) was responsible for an alleged thug who supposedly visited” and threatened her.
“In truth, Mr. Cohen had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any such person or incident, and does not even believe that any such person exists, or that such incident ever occurred,” Blakely said in the letter.
Predictably, the interview spawned a range of reactions, from outrage to hilarity.