Stormy Daniels claims she took hush money deal so Trump ‘couldn’t have me killed’

Adult film star speaks out in new documentary

Gustaf Kilander
Washington DC
Wednesday 20 March 2024 19:14 GMT
Related video: Who is Stormy Daniels?

Adult film star Stormy Daniels has claimed that she took Donald Trump’s hush money deal just before the 2016 election so that the former president “couldn’t have me killed”.

Ms Daniels was allegedly paid for her silence over an alleged affair she claims she had with Mr Trump at Lake Tahoe in 2006. Mr Trump has continually denied that the affair took place.

Ms Daniels spoke out about the deal – a deal which is now at the centre of Mr Trump’s criminal case in New York – in the new documentary Stormy now airing on Peacock, NBC’s streaming service.

“My friend was like, ‘You might actually have a problem. I don't want to scare you, but based on the things you've told me now, you're the whole Republican Party's problem. And they like to make their problems go away,’” she says in the documentary.

Ms Daniels says she was then “very relieved” to get the “the chance to keep it quiet” when then-Trump-fixer-turned staunch critic Michael Cohen offered her a $130,000 hush money payment in October 2016.

“I was f****** terrified. I mean, people had been suspiciously killed for political reasons,” Ms Daniels says.

“It was really about two things, trying to keep the story from coming out so that it would not hurt my husband and my daughter and I wouldn’t lose my life.”

She adds: “And that there would be a paper trail and money trail linking me to Donald Trump so that he could not have me killed. All I had to do was sign this piece of paper and collect $130,000.”

In a statement to The Independent, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung responded to the claims made in the documentary.

“The only thing Stormy Daniels can be relied upon is to change her story when there’s money to be made,” he said.

“She has already lost massively in court and owes President Trump over $600,000 for defaming him--none of which she has paid.”

He added: “She has NEVER told the truth about President Trump and this ‘documentary’ is simply a last chance, low-budget fantasy sequel for a has-been pseudo-celebrity. She has once again opened herself up to tremendous legal liability and will soon be held to account.”

Ms Daniels sued Mr Trump for defamation in 2018, based on a tweet by the then-president, in which he suggested that she had lied about being threatened in 2011 to not speak publically about their alleged affair.

The lawsuit was later dismissed by a federal judge who ordered Ms Daniels to pay Mr Trump’s legal fees. Ms Daniels lost an appeal in the case and now owes the former president more than $600,000 in legal fees.

The documentary alleges that Ms Daniels is concerned about possibly losing her home.

She was initially ordered to pay $293,000 in legal fees five years ago, but this has now grown to $600,000 due to accumulated interest, the documentary details.

Ms Daniels tells the filmmakers that she would go to prison before paying any of it.

In the film, Ms Daniels also claims she was “cornered” into having sex with Mr Trump.

“I don’t remember how I got on the bed, and then the next thing I know, he was humping away and telling me how great I was,” she says. “It was awful. But I didn’t say ‘No’.”

In the film, Ms Daniels reveals that she was abused by a neighbour when she was just nine years old. Subsequently speaking about Mr Trump’s advances in 2006, she said: “I didn’t say no because ... I was nine years old again.”

Ms Daniels was in her late 20s at the time of the alleged affair while Mr Trump was 60.

She said the affair was consensual but states in the documentary that she didn’t want to have sex with Mr Trump.

The former president has strenuously rejected the notion that any sexual activity took place between them.

“To this day, I blame myself and I have not forgiven myself because I didn’t shut his a** down in that moment, so maybe make him pause before he tried it with someone else,” she says in the film. “The hardest part about all of this is I feel like I am partially responsible for every woman that could have come after me.”

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels signs autographs at the Venus Fair for Erotic Entertainment and Lifestyle on October 12, 2018 in Berlin (AFP via Getty Images)

The documentary also shows Ms Daniels dealing with an increase in threats and abuse against her and her family.

“Back in 2018, there was stuff like ‘liar, s***, gold digger,’” she says.

Since Mr Trump’s indictment last year on business fraud charges over the hush money payment, she says the threats have escalated: “This time around, it is very different. It is direct threats. It is ‘I’m going to come to your house and slit your throat.’”

Mr Trump’s attorneys have cited the documentary in court filings in his New York hush money case.

In defence filings made public last week, Mr Trump’s attorneys said the film’s premiere on 18 March “would cause extraordinarily prejudicial, and unacceptable, pretrial publicity on the current schedule”.

They also argued that the premiere was one of the top reasons why the criminal trial should be delayed.

Mr Trump’s trial was originally set to begin on Monday 25 March.

Mr Trump’s attorneys had asked the judge for a delay of 90 days, with prosecutors later saying they would not oppose a 30-day delay.

On Friday, the judge said that the trial will now likely begin in the middle of April.

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