Five things to know about Stormy Daniels
A New York City tabloid once called her “a busty blonde from Baton Rouge.”
Fans of Maroon 5 and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” might recognize her face.
Porn fans know her body of work as an award-winning director of adult films and the star of porn films such as “3 Wishes,” “Sexbots: Programmed for Pleasure” and “Operation Desert Stormy.”
Louisiana residents know her for that time she almost ran for the U.S. Senate. “Those of you who don’t know who I am, I’d suggest that you don’t Google that until you get home from work,” she told one group of voters she met.
People know her name now. Stormy Daniels is the 38-year-old porn star who allegedly had a sexual affair with Donald Trump four months after his wife, Melania, gave birth to their son, Barron.
Celebrity magazine In Touch graphically details the alleged affair in a 7-year-old interview released this week in which Daniels claimed the relationship began after she met him at a golf tournament in July 2006 in Lake Tahoe, Nev.
“Whether you’re a fan of his or not, which I never really was, you gotta admit he’s pretty fascinating,” In Touch reported that Daniels said in 2011. “We had really good banter. He told me once that I was someone to be reckoned with, beautiful and smart just like his daughter (Ivanka).”
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, brokered a $130,000 payment to Daniels to keep her from going public before the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen issued a statement, signed in Daniels’ name, that called rumors of the affair and hush money “completely false.” The White House issued a statement calling the Journal’s story “old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election.”
At least five other media outlets — Slate, Fox News, “Good Morning America,” “The Daily Beast” and “The Smoking Gun” — were aware of the alleged affair before the election, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s count.
“Like many other outlets, we were working to report the story of (Daniels’) account in October 2016 about then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump and a possible payment by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen,” Noah Kotch, editor-in-chief and vice president of Fox News digital since 2017, said in a statement to CNN.
“In doing our due diligence, we were unable to verify all of the facts and publish a story.”
Daniels was reportedly unwilling to go public, making it difficult for journalists to verify and corroborate her story. But at least one version is out there now.
So just who is Stormy Daniels?
1, She was born Stephanie Gregory Clifford in Baton Rouge, La. She will be 39 on March 17, according to her biography on IMDB.
2. She was president of the 4-H Club and editor of the school newspaper, according to IMDB, at Scotlandville Magnet High School in Baton Rouge.
3. She began her career as a stripper in Baton Rouge at the age of 17 before entering the porn industry, according to England’s The Sun.
4. In 2002 she became the lead actress in a film for Wicked Pictures, the adult film studio in California she still works with. She can be seen in some photos wearing a necklace with the word “wicked.”
5. Her stage name, Stormy Daniels, combines the name of Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx’s daughter, Storm, with Jack Daniel’s whiskey.
6. She has a connection to North Korea — sorta. “In one movie, I did play a Secret Service agent marooned on an island controlled by North Korea. I butt heads with dictator Kim Jong Il and come out on top,” she once told Marie Claire magazine.
7. She was in the 2007 Maroon 5 music video for “Wake Up Call.”
“I was a little nervous, because I didn’t know how much footage of me they were going to use, but they used quite a bit, so I’m pretty excited,” she told AVN (Adult Video News) when the video debuted.
She said two of the band members were big fans of her porn work.
8. She appeared as a porn star in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” with Steve Carell, after which she has said she got calls to appear in “Knocked Up,” “Superbad” and “Pineapple Express.” She wanted to work on mainstream films to learn skills to use in the porn movies she was directing, like how to break furniture on camera, she has said.
“I think the adult sets run a lot more efficiently, but the mainstream sets have way better catering,” she said in one interview. She has said she loves working in the adult film industry and never intended to use it as a stepping stone to mainstream films.
9. While female directors in Hollywood struggle to get recognition for their work, Daniels has made a name for herself directing more than 70 adult films, doing so for Wicked since 2004.
In 2016 she was the industry’s most honored director, according to The Cut, winning several awards for a three-hour Western epic, “Wanted,” which she wrote, directed and starred in. (It was hard to be sexy while covered in sweat and horse hair, she has said.)
“For years everyone was like, ‘Stormy Daniels, she’s the best female director.’ That’s always bugged me,” she told The Cut. “What does my vagina have to do with directing?
“Why do I have to be the best female director? Why can’t I just be one of the best directors?”
10. She has been married and divorced twice. Ex-husband Mike Moz is a publicist in the adult entertainment industry. According to Business Insider, she is currently married to fellow porn actor Brendon Miller.
11. Before she married Miller she had a daughter in January 2011 with ex-boyfriend Glendon Crain, according to IMDB. The pregnancy stirred up a bit of controversy when critics accused her of being an unfit mother, according to Business Insider.
“It’s just all the negativity towards the adult industry in general, or people’s fear,” she said in a 2012 interview.
12. In 2009 some of her porn fans urged her to run for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana against Republican Sen. David Vitter, who had been scandalized when he admitted to being a client of the infamous “D.C. Madam.”
The effort was seen more as a stunt and failed to get any traction. She ultimately decided not to run.
“I might not be the epitome of family values,” she said while on a “listening tour” across the state. “But I can tell you one thing: I wouldn’t humiliate my spouse and children like the current Senator has. If that’s not against family values, I don’t know what is.”
She refused to join a political party but was very clear about her positions: She opposed the Obama administration’s economic stimulus and supported the ending of the war in Iraq, according to The Bayou Brief.
Her campaign slogan was this: “Stormy Daniels: Screwing People Honestly.”
She has been a Republican since 2010, according to her IMDB bio.
13. Since the story of her alleged affair with Trump emerged, interest in her film work has soared.
Pornhub Insights, the pornography streaming site’s data analytics blog, reports that online searches for Stormy Daniels have skyrocketed — 375 percent more people than usual have searched for her on Pornhub in recent days.
She has brought 2 million curiosity seekers to Pornhub this week, according to Newsweek.
Pornhub users logging in from Washington, D.C., are more interested than average Americans in Daniels’ porn videos.
The porn site has no way of knowing whether the people searching for information are Republicans or Democrats.