Stephanie Clifford, better known by her stage name Stormy Daniels, is an adult film actress who gained notoriety for her alleged affair with former US President Donald Trump. In 2016, during Trump’s presidential campaign, Daniels offered to sell her story of the affair to the media. Trump’s lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, was made aware of Daniels’ intentions and arranged a $130,000 payment to her to keep quiet about the affair. Trump has repeatedly denied the affair took place.
In 2018, Cohen was convicted and sentenced to prison on multiple charges, including campaign finance violations related to the hush money payment to Daniels. As part of his plea deal, he implicated Trump in the scheme, stating that the then-president directed him to make the payment. Trump has denied these allegations and insisted that the payment was made without his knowledge.
After years of investigating Trump’s finances, New York prosecutors under former District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. initially focused on claims that the Trump Organization fraudulently inflated the value of its real estate assets. However, when Vance was replaced by Alvin Bragg in 2022, the investigation shifted to the hush money case involving Daniels. In January, a grand jury was empaneled to determine if there was enough evidence to prosecute Trump for his role in the scheme. Trump was subsequently indicted, making him the first ex-president to face criminal charges.
10 Things To Know About Stormy Daniels
- Stephanie Gregory Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, is an adult actress.
- Daniels claims that she had a sexual encounter with Donald Trump in 2006, which she described as “may have been the least impressive sex I’d ever had” in her book “Full Disclosure.”
- She grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and started working at strip clubs during high school to support herself financially. She has a daughter and got married to adult film actor Barrett Blade in 2022, which was her fourth marriage.
- Daniels was sexually abused at the age of nine by an older man and was neglected by her family, as per her memoir published in 2018. She announced her plans to contest the Louisiana Senate seat in the 2010 US Senate election.
- Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, admitted to arranging a $130,000 payment to Daniels just before the 2016 US presidential election to keep her from discussing the affair with Trump.
- Stormy Daniels is a nationally ranked equestrian and a former champion equestrian who broke her back in a show-jumping competition.
- She produces and directs her own adult films and was nominated for “Director of the Year” at adult-film awards shows. She had 17 nominations in total. Currently, she has a contract with Digital Playground, which is one of the largest production companies in the adult entertainment industry.
- Daniels was inducted into the Adult Video News Hall of Fame in 2014.
- She has appeared in mainstream movies, including “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up,” and “Finding Bliss.” She also starred in the Maroon 5 music video for “Wake Up Call” in 2007.
- Daniels loves horses and owns several of them. She has won multiple blue ribbons at equestrian events.
- After an evaluation carried out by Celebrity Net Worth, Stormy Daniels’ estimated net worth for the year 2023 stands at $1 million.
Let’s return to the case involving Donald Trump.
Is it legal to pay someone hush money?
While it is not against the law to compensate someone in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), some critics of Mr. Trump argued that the timing of the payment, which was made just a month before the 2016 presidential election, may have violated campaign finance laws.
Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty in August 2018 to charges of tax evasion and breaking campaign finance rules, which were partly related to his payment to Stormy Daniels and another woman allegedly linked to Mr. Trump. Initially, Cohen claimed that the payments were not related to the campaign and that Mr. Trump was not involved.
However, he later testified under oath that Mr. Trump had directed him to make the $130,000 hush payment to Daniels just days before the election and that the President had reimbursed him for it. Mr. Trump confirmed that he had reimbursed Cohen but denied the affair and any wrongdoing with respect to campaign finance laws.
As a result of his role in violating election laws during the 2016 presidential campaign, Cohen was sentenced to jail on several counts.
Why was Donald Trump charged with a crime?
Earlier this year, a grand jury was established by New York City District Attorney Alvin Bragg to investigate the possibility of pursuing legal action against the former president for the payment made to Ms Daniels. A grand jury is a legal process conducted in private by a prosecutor to determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed with charges in a case.
On Thursday, the grand jury reportedly voted in favor of bringing criminal charges against Mr Trump, making him the first former US president to face such charges. However, it is still unknown what charges will be filed against him.