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Stormy Daniels has a message for all those who think she’s in this for “the fame”

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Kayleigh Dray
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Stormy Daniels smiling against a pink backdrop

Show this to anyone who thinks Stormy Daniels has profited from her claims against President Donald Trump.

Stormy Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, recently broke her silence over her alleged affair with President Donald Trump, claiming that she had a consensual sexual relationship with the POTUS in 2006, shortly after his third wife Melania gave birth to their first and only child, Barron.

It wasn’t long before people began questioning the adult film star’s motives for going public with her story, citing tired old stereotypes about women, attention and sex work.

Daniels, though, has had enough of these clichéd arguments – a point she made abundantly clear during her recent interview with The View’s Meghan McCain, which saw her claims about Trump reduced to nothing more than a “publicity stunt”.

“It does seem like you’re benefitting a lot,” said McCain accusingly.

“And it seems like you’re trying to get attention… you’ve gone on your Make America Horny Again tour, I’m sure you’re making a lot of money.”

McCain added: “No disrespect, but I hadn’t heard your name until all of this happened and now you’re literally live on The View giving an entire interview to us.”

Daniels responded by, firstly, pointing out that she hadn’t come up with the “awful” and “cheesy” name of her tour.

“I hate it,” she said bluntly. “It’s a play on someone else’s idea, and I always try not to do that.”

Then, addressing the claim that she has been making money off the Trump case, Daniels continued: “Yes, I’ve gotten more bookings than usual, but I’m doing the job that I’ve been doing for the last, almost, 20 years.

“Yes, there’s a lot of publicity but I didn’t do it for that because this isn’t what I want to be known for. As a matter of fact, I hid [from the press] for a very long time because it’s overwhelming, intimidating, and downright scary.”

This is, perhaps, something of an understatement: earlier this year, Daniels alleged that she had been threatened into silence over the story – and that the safety of her daughter had been thrown into question after one particularly frightening encounter.

“I was in a parking lot, going to a fitness class with my infant daughter,” Clifford said during a recent interview on 60 Minutes.

“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.”

It makes perfect sense, then, that Daniels has been spending all of the money she has earned from her added publicity on security for herself and her family.

“I’ve had to hire bodyguards,” she said.

“And with my daughter, I have to hire a tutor now [because she isn’t safe in school].”

Of course, it is worth noting that Daniels has been very firm that her story about Trump not be included in the #MeToo movement.

“This is not a ‘Me Too’ story,” she has stated on numerous occasions.

“I was not a victim. I think trying to use me to […] further someone else’s agenda does horrible damage to people who are true victims.”

However, when Daniels originally sold her story in 2011, Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen squashed publication with legal threats. And then, just 11 days before the 2016 election, Cohen presented her with a non-disclosure agreement (which she signed) and a payoff of $130,000 for keeping quiet about her allegations.

As the agreement was signed so close to the election, many have suggested that it goes against campaign finance laws – a claim which is currently being investigated by authorities.

As Larry Noble, general counsel for the watchdog group the Campaign Legal Centre, tells NPR: “[Daniels] allegedly had the affair [with Trump] about 10 years before [the NDA was signed]. There was a potential article that was going to come out in 2011, but they did not enter the agreement until right before the election. And that is evidence that the purpose of this was for the purpose of influencing the election.

“That’s where you have the violation of the contribution limits by whoever paid for this – and that you also have the campaign’s failure to report this. Everything a campaign does for the election is supposed to be reported and is subject to limits. And that includes even things like this, even though they are things that may be salacious, that people don’t want to know about.

“They are supposed to be reported if they’re for the purpose of the campaign.”

To find out more about the ongoing case, click here.

Image: Rex Features

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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