The porn star whose bombshell claims about sex with Donald Trump have rocked his presidency desperately tried to sell her story for $200,000 — nearly 50 percent more than the ‘hush’ money she received, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Stormy Daniels’s manager made the rounds of celebrity magazines, television shows, and websites in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, hoping someone would bite.
She promised a story of Stormy’s titillating sexcapade with the man who would soon be in the Oval Office.
But with polling day getting ever closer, and her chances of a payday getting more remote as Trump appeared doomed to lose to Hillary Clinton, Daniels gave up on her money chase and accepted the $130,000 that Trump attorney Michael Cohen had dangled in front of her in a bid to keep the story quiet.
Cohen insists he paid the money out of his own pocket and was not reimbursed by either the Trump campaign or the Trump Organization.
‘It looks to me that she accepted Cohen’s money because she could not get the money she wanted from anyone else,’ one media executive said.
DailyMail.com was among the outlets approached by Stormy’s manager Gina Rodriguez in October 2016. We turned her down.
Daniels told her version of her tryst with Trump to Anderson Cooper on CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday. Cooper reported that she had sold her story to a tabloid magazine for $15,000 years before, but it did not run because of libel threats from Cohen and she was never paid.
After Trump won the Republican presidential nomination interest in Daniels’s story grew and she claims she turned down offers to speak.
Stormy made it seem as though she did not seek to sell her story, telling Cooper: ‘Suddenly people are reaching out to me again, offering me money. Large amounts of money. Was I tempted? Yes – I struggle with it,’ she told Cooper.
Then, she claims, Cohen approached her with his $130,0000 offer.
But the fact is that Stormy’s team was aggressively pursuing a deal to sell her story to the highest bidder.
During the 60 Minutes interview, Daniels, 39, said she had ‘swatted’ the future president’s backside a couple of times with a copy of Trump Magazine and that they had had sex just once in a Nevada hotel suite.
Cooper did not ask her to elaborate on what the sex was like.
Daniels, 39, an adult film actress whose body of work includes The Witches of Breastwick, Camp Cuddlypines Powertool Massacre, and Spreading My Seed, mused to Cooper on whether she should now be speaking out.
She pointed out she was not being paid for the interview and when Cooper asked her if the notoriety would help her ‘Make America Horny Again’ tour of strip clubs, she replied that she could end up being shunned.
‘I could automatically be alienating half of my fan base right at this very moment,’ she said.
But in 2016, Daniels saw her opportunity to cash in on the one-night-stand that she says occurred 10 years earlier, and she had a picture of herself in a body-hugging cropped black tank top standing next to Trump in a yellow golf shirt and red cap, to back her claim.
Rodriguez pushed Daniels’s story to the media around October 17, three weeks before the election and the same day that Cohen registered a limited liability company called Essential Solutions in Delaware. Rodriguez said she was keen for the story to appear before the final presidential debate between Trump and Clinton, set for October 19.
Some 10 days later, Essential Solutions paid Daniels $130,000 after she signed an agreement not to talk about Trump. The agreement used pseudonyms — David Dennison for Trump and Peggy Peterson for Daniels.
Daniels and her attorney Michael Avenatti claim the agreement is non-binding because Trump did not sign in, although Cohen did.
Trump, then 60, was playing in a celebrity golf tournament at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Stateline, Nevada, in July 2006, finishing 62nd in a field of 80. Daniels was working a gifting suite for Wicked Pictures, one of the leading porn companies, and says he invited her up to his suite at the Harrah’s Casino.
Trump’s wife Melania had given birth to their only child, Barron, just three months earlier.
Once she got to the room, Daniels says Trump showed her a copy of his new magazine — which had a picture of the businessman in a navy suit and blue tie on the cover under the caption ‘On Top of the World.’
She says she asked him whether boasting about himself normally worked with women, a question she says surprised him.
‘He looked very taken aback, like he didn’t really understand what I was saying.’ she told Cooper.
‘And I was like, “Someone should take that magazine and spank you with it.” I don’t think anyone’s ever spoken to him like that, especially, you know, a young woman who looked like me.
‘And I said “Give me that,” and I just remember him going, “You wouldn’t. Hand it over.” And so he did, and I was like, “Turn around, drop ’em.”
‘So he turned around and pulled his pants down a little,’ she added saying he was wearing underwear. ‘I just gave him a couple swats. ‘
Daniels — real name Stephanie Clifford — said Trump then stopped talking about himself and even offered to see if he could persuade NBC executives to allow her to appear on his TV show, Celebrity Apprentice.
After dinner in the room, she says she went to the bathroom and when she returned she found Trump ‘perched’ on the edge of the bed.
‘I realized exactly what I’d gotten myself into. And I was like, “Ugh, here we go.” And I just felt like 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.”
They then had unprotected sex, she claims, although Cooper did not ask her for any further details. She said she did not consider herself a victim as the sex was consensual, even though she insists she was not physically attracted to him.
Trump denies ever having sex with Daniels, but the $130,000 payout could bring more problems to his presidency as there are now calls to have it investigated as an illegal campaign contribution from Cohen.
Daniels said she stayed in contact with Trump and went to his suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel the following year to discuss her possible appearance on Celebrity Apprentice. She said he made her watch a Shark Week documentary and then came on to her but she left without having sex.
Daniels’s account had many similarities to one from former Playboy centerfold Karen MacDougal, who says she had a year-long affair with Trump starting in June 2006, the month before his alleged night with Daniels.
Both said Trump had told them they reminded him of his daughter Ivanka, and both said he told them that he and Melania slept in separate rooms despite only being married for around 18 months at the time.
Clifford said Trump offered to pay her for the sex. Cooper did not ask Daniels whether he made a similar offer to her.