Fox News movie brought back memory of sex with Trump
Stormy Daniels has said she could not remember key details of the sexual liaison she claims to have had with Donald Trump, until seeing a film about Roger Ailes’ sexual harassment of women at Fox News prompted her to remember.
“I went to see that movie Bombshell,” she said, “and suddenly it just came back.”
Daniels, an adult film star and director whose birth name is Stephanie Clifford, was speaking to Michael Cohen on the former Trump lawyer’s podcast, Mea Culpa, made by Audio Up Media and distributed by PodcastOne and LiveXLive. Excerpts were shared with the Guardian.
Daniels also described Trump “doing his best yet horrifyingly disturbing impression of Burt Reynolds”, on a bed, clad only in his underwear.
Daniels claims to have had sex with Trump in Nevada in 2006. He denies it, but a $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels reimbursed by Trump contributed to Cohen’s downfall in 2018.
Trump’s longtime fixer was jailed for tax fraud, lying to Congress and violations of campaign finance law. He cooperated with investigators and published a book, Disloyal, while completing a three-year sentence.
The payment to Daniels, and Cohen’s role in a payment to another woman, Playboy model Karen McDougal, during the 2016 election, are at the centre of ongoing investigations. Stripped of the protections of office, Trump is vulnerable to prosecution.
Daniels’ appearance on Cohen’s podcast marks a rapprochement between the two. After Cohen orchestrated Trump’s attempts to keep Daniels quiet, Daniels had harsh words for Cohen in her own book, Full Disclosure.
Daniels called Cohen a “dim bulb” and “a complete fucking moron”. She also detailed what she claims was a threat to her safety and that of her daughter, allegedly from Trump. In 2018, she said: “It never occurred to any of these men that I would someday have a voice.”
Cohen is now a vocal critic of his old boss. Daniels remains a thorn in Trump’s side.
“Both of our stories will be forever linked with Donald Trump, but also with one another,” Cohen said, apologising for inflicting “needless pain” and adding: “Thanks for giving me a second chance.”
The details of Daniels’ alleged liaison with Trump at a charity golf event in Lake Tahoe in 2006 are well known, not least thanks to her book, which the Guardian first reported.
“I couldn’t remember,” she told Cohen, “how I got from standing in that bathroom doorway to underneath him on the bed, like I couldn’t remember how my dress came off or how my shoes got off, because I know I took my shoes off because I clearly remember putting them back on and they were buckled, like they’re really gold strappy heels that were not easy to, you know, come off.
“And I just, there’s like 60 seconds where I just had no recollection of it and it’s not in the book, and nobody really wanted to ask about it. They just wanted to know the details of what his appendage, or lack of appendage, looked like. And I was like, it really bothered me for, like, years, like, I definitely wasn’t drinking so I’m like why don’t I remember this.
“And I’ll never forget this moment. I went to see that movie Bombshell, and suddenly it just came back.”
Bombshell was directed by Jay Roach, starred Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie and was released in 2019. It told the story of the downfall of Roger Ailes, chief executive of Fox News and a key Trump ally, over sexual harassment.
Trump denies accusations of sexual harassment and assault by multiple women. Shortly before the 2016 election, Fox News killed a story about Trump and Daniels. Ailes resigned in July that year and died the following May.
Daniels’ own case against Trump for defamation is heading for the supreme court. She told Cohen: “I’ve already lost everything, so I’m taking it all the way.”
Of Lake Tahoe in 2006, Daniels also told Cohen she now remembered thinking, ‘Oh fuck, how do I get myself in this situation. And I remember even thinking I could definitely fight his fat ass, I can definitely outrun him. There’s a bodyguard at the door. But I wasn’t threatened, I was not physically threatened.
“And then so I tried to sidestep … I was like, trying to remember really quickly, where did I leave my purse, like I gotta get out of here. And I went to sidestep and he stood up off the bed and was like ‘This is your chance.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ and he was like, ‘You need to show me how bad you want it or do you just want to go back to the trailer park.’”
Daniels has said Trump told her he would get her a slot on The Apprentice, the reality TV show for which he was then most famous. At the time of the alleged encounter, Trump’s third wife, Melania Trump, had recently given birth to their son, Barron.
Daniels told Cohen she went to the bathroom, then “was genuinely like startled to see him waiting” when she came out.
“I just froze,” she said, “and I didn’t know what to say. He had stripped down to his underwear and was perched on the bed doing his best yet horrifyingly disturbing impression of Burt Reynolds.”
She “didn’t say anything for years”, she said, “because I didn’t remember.” Now the star of a ghost-hunting reality TV show, Spooky Babes, she added: “I’ve been face to face with evil in the most intimate way. Demons don’t scare me any more.”
Daniels has described what she says happened next. Speaking to CBS 60 Minutes in 2018, she said: “And I was like, ‘Ugh, here we go.’ 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.”
The interviewer, Anderson Cooper, said: “And you had sex with him.”
“Yes,” Daniels said.
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At least eight 2024 hopefuls will speak at CPAC, the conservative movement’s premier conference this weekend in Florida, giving Republicans their clearest look yet at who’s competing in the traditional GOP presidential lanes. But there’s only one lane that really matters: the one currently occupied by former President Donald Trump.