Stormy Daniels broke her silence about her alleged affair with Donald Trump and what she says were threats to keep her quiet, in an interview with Anderson Cooper that aired Sunday night on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
Some of the details became known before the interview, but there were at least five revelations that had not previously been made public.
“He knows I’m telling the truth,” Daniels told Cooper, referring to the President. The White House has denied the affair happened.
The last time Daniels talked about her 2006 relationship with Trump was in 2011, to the parent company of Life & Style and In Touch magazine.
Daniels was never paid by the media for her Trump affair story
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, told Cooper she was never paid the $15,000 the publication offered her to publish the story.
While the interview was done in 2011, the story was not published until this January. The magazine also released the full transcript of Daniels’ conversation with reporter Jordi Lippe-McGraw.
More details on the alleged threat
Daniels’ attorney has repeatedly said she was threatened, but the details of the alleged threat have never been made public until now.
Daniels said Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen threatened to sue shortly after the interview she did with the magazine. A few weeks later, she says, a man approached her in Las Vegas.
“I was in a parking lot, going to a fitness class with my infant daughter,” Daniels said. “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,” she said.
Daniels said she was shaken by the experience but never told police out of fear.
On CNN’s “New Day” on Monday, her attorney, Michael Avenatti, said there’s no doubt that Cohen or someone from the Trump organization was behind the alleged threat.
“That’s the only place it could have come from,” he said.
Cohen’s attorney denies his client was in any way involved.
“Mr. Cohen had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any such person or incident,” Brent Blakely said.
Gossip website sparked new interest in alleged affair
Before In Touch published its story, a gossip website got wind of Daniels’ alleged tryst and published a few details. Four years later, when Trump ran for president, Daniels said she was contacted by various media outlets to tell her story.
“Suddenly, people are reaching out to me again, offering me money. Large amounts of money. Was I tempted? Yes – I struggle with it. And then I get the call: ‘I think I have the best deal for you,’” she recalled her attorney at the time saying.
The deal was an offer not to tell her story. The person making the offer, she said, was Cohen.
Eventually, she signed the deal, as did Cohen, and he paid her $130,000 in hush money.
“I think some people… are going to doubt that you entered into this negotiation because you feared for your safety,” Cooper said. “They’re going to think that you saw an opportunity.”
“I think the fact that I didn’t even negotiate, I just quickly said ‘yes’ to this very strict contract,” Daniels said. “And what most people will agree with me (it’s an) extremely low number. It’s all the proof I need.”
Cohen has admitted to paying Daniels, but maintains it was independent of the Trump campaign.
She didn’t want to have sex that night
In 2018, In Touch magazine finally published the transcript of what Daniels had said about her alleged affair with Donald Trump. She says she had unprotected sex with him but she told Cooper she didn’t want to have sex at all that night. She had asked to use the restroom in Trump’s hotel room, she said, and when she came out he was perched on the bed.
“And I was like, ‘Ugh, here we go,’” she said. “And I just felt like maybe – it was sort of – 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.’”
“But I didn’t say no. I’m not a victim,” Daniels said, adding that it was consensual sex.
She says she was pressured to deny the affair
In 2018, her story was out and Daniels was being pursued by the media. She did two interviews without revealing anything about her alleged affair with Trump.
Cohen put out a statement showing Daniels’ signature on a piece of paper saying she never had an affair with Trump.
Then, just before her scheduled interview with Jimmy Kimmel, her former manager Gina Rodriguez sent out a similar statement denying the affair, also signed by Daniels.
Daniels told Cooper her former manager and former attorney pressured her to sign it.
“If it was untruthful, why did you sign it?” Cooper asked.
“Because they made it sound like I had no choice,” Daniels said. “As a matter of fact, the exact sentence used was, ‘They can make your life hell in many different ways.’”
When asked who “they” were, Daniels said she believed it was Cohen.
Cohen has denied he made any threats to Daniels, and following the airing of the “60 Minutes” interview, an attorney for Cohen said in a letter that Daniels had defamed his client.
In the letter, obtained by CNN, Cohen attorney Blakely told Daniels’ attorney Avenatti that his client had nothing to do with the alleged threat in the parking lot.
Blakely demanded that Daniels cease and desist from making further “false and defamatory” statements about Cohen, and asked for a retraction and apology for the comments she made in Sunday’s interview.
When asked about Daniels’ charge that she was pressured into signing a false statement, her former attorney, Keith Davidson, responded in a statement to CNN: “I do not believe that the assertions in Ms. Daniels’ 60 Minutes interview represent a fair and accurate description of the situation.”
He added that he cannot discuss the matter because of attorney-client privilege.
“The current legal requirements prohibit me from doing so until such a time that Ms. Daniels, in writing, waives attorney client privilege and authorizes me to speak publicly on the matter,” Davidson said.
Marc Harris, the lawyer for Daniels’ former manager, Gina Rodriguez, told CNN, “Ms. Clifford did not say during the interview that Ms. Rodriguez pressured her in any way to sign the January 2018 statement.”
Though she technically is not shown saying it during the interview, Anderson Cooper’s voiceover made clear that is what Daniels said.
CNN’s Drew Griffin contributed to this report