Nation & World

She's fired? She's not? Stormy Daniels has stormy run at Chicago strip club

Stormy Daniels stormed out of a Chicago strip club Thursday after a performance, leaving people waiting to meet her high and dry, according to Chicago media.. She said the owner "fired" her. On Friday, media reported the shows were back on.
Stormy Daniels stormed out of a Chicago strip club Thursday after a performance, leaving people waiting to meet her high and dry, according to Chicago media.. She said the owner "fired" her. On Friday, media reported the shows were back on. Associated Press file photo

Stormy Daniels had a stormy night in the windy city Thursday night, leaving the fate of a scheduled five-show run at a strip club there in jeopardy, according to Chicago news outlets.

Chicago media have been trying to figure out what happened at the Admiral Theatre where Daniels was scheduled to perform through the weekend on her "Make America Horny Again" tour.

The first reports Friday from outlets including The Chicago Tribune: Her shows for the rest of the weekend have been canceled.

But Friday afternoon, both the Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times reported the shows could be back on.

Both the club's owner, Sam Cecola, and Daniels' agent were trying to resolve contract differences on the remaining shows, Cecola told the Tribune later Friday. “We're talking and trying to find a way to allow the show to go on,” he said.

Agent Danny Capozzi told the Tribune both parties were "working together right now to resolve those misunderstandings and our hope is, by all parties involved, Stormy Daniels will be on stage performing at the Admiral Theatre to entertain her loyal fans in Chicago."

By all accounts she finished Thursday's show, in front of a full house, before reportedly rushing quickly past people who had paid a reported $20 each to meet her after her strip show. The Chicago Tribune reported that fans were given cash refunds "by strip club staff who looked as confused as the crowd."

“She just walked out,” Cecola told the Sun-Times. “I’m going to file a lawsuit next week. It’s going to be bigger than the suit she filed (against Trump)."

According to The Chicago Reader. as Daniels was escorted out the door by two members of her security team - she was moving "swiftly," the Sun-Times reported - "she turned to some of the fans who'd been waiting in line and said, 'Sorry, I just got fired.'"

Her camp has not said anything publicly about what happened.

The wheels apparently started falling off the evening when Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, started the show by all accounts an hour late. Cecola told the Sun-Times she was having a late dinner at The Signature Room on the city's Magnificent Mile before the show.

“It sets a tone when you’re that late,” he told the Sun-Times about the porn industry actress and director who found new fame after an alleged affair with Donald Trump became public.

She has sued Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen - who paid her $130,00 to say quiet during the presidential campaign - and sued Trump in April for defamation, seeking unspecified damages of more than $75,000.

Her 15-to-20-minute show Thursday "moved as quickly as today’s news cycle," the Tribune wrote.

The Sun-Times described how Daniels performed a "patriotic routine in front of an American flag backdrop next to a presidential podium, dancing to songs like 'American Girl' by Tom Petty.

"A few men near the front of the stage wore Make America Great Again hats — on sale in the lobby — and another man gave Daniels repeated standing ovations as she stripped off her red, white and blue sparkly costume to songs like 'American Woman' and 'American Girl.'

"In some moments, she let audience members nuzzle her bosom. At another point, she squirted a bottle of white liquid onto the crowd."

The Chicago Reader estimated that women made up about a third of the audience. About a dozen folks came from a Chicago-area retirement community.

“I think she’s a hero,” one of those residents, Sandra Simonson, told the Tribune. “I’m proud of her for bringing Trump down. I think that’s very noble.”

Simonson's review of the show, though, was less enthusiastic: "I got kind of bored," she told the Tribune.

Trouble began brewing between the club and "Team Stormy" before she even hit town, the Reader reported.

Cecola said to the Reader that Daniels skipped rehearsal, tried to "dictate" what the theater's dancers did "so she wasn't upstaged" and finally walked out after being unable to renegotiate her contract with the club after asking for a higher percentage of the revenue made from the post-show meet-and-greet.

Cecola also told the Reader that Daniels refused to work with a "little person" the club hired to portray Trump during the show.

"This . . . whatever you want to call her . . . comes into the place and makes everyone wait and didn't rehearse," he told the Reader. "Last time she was here was eight years ago, we were a different theater then, we remodeled since then. She didn't see the stage layout."

After the show, club manager Nick Cecola read to reporters a text message he said Daniels sent him after walking out, according to the Sun-Times.

"'I agreed this is very disappointing and I was very much looking forward to performing at the Admiral — which is why I took the booking for a fraction of what other clubs are paying," she allegedly wrote.

"I'm not kidding when I say my current per-show rate is more than I'm performing for the entire three days. Making up the difference in merch sales was the only chance to not be upside down this week. Sorry it has to end this way but I stand by my crew.'"