In what could ultimately be a million dollar interview, Stormy Daniels finally spoke openly and freely, alleging a 2006 affair with Donald Trump during an interview with Anderson Cooper for "60 Minutes." The porn star detailed a sexual encounter with Trump -- which the president has publicly denied through a spokesperson -- as well as threats of physical and financial harm should she speak out.
The interview would seem to be in direct violation to a non-disclosure agreement Daniels signed less than two weeks before the election with Trumps's attorney Michael Cohen to not discuss her alleged relationship with the then candidate, but Daniels and her attorney, Michael Avanetti, assert that the NDA is invalid because Trump never signed it.
As part of the NDA, Daniels was paid $130,000 by Cohen. He claims that because he signed the document, and paid her the money, the NDA is valid and binding, including a clause that says she will be charged $1 million for every instance she speaks out about her alleged relationship with Trump. In response to Avanetti suing in court to have the NDA rendered null, Cohen has countered saying that Daniels owes more than $20 million for violating the agreement.
In her first televised interview, Daniels spoke candidly about her alleged relationship with Trump, corroborating the details in her InTouch interview and elsewhere. But she also spoke about other more relevant things, like why she signed the NDA in the first place, why she's decided to break it now and in what ways she believes Michael Cohen, and by extension Donald Trump, have threatened her both physically and financially in an effort to keep her silent.
“He was like, 'wow, you are special. You remind me of my daughter.'” --Stormy Daniels says of her conversation with Mr. Trump the night they met. pic.twitter.com/Mj52gSoDbH
Daniels went into more detail about the spanking incident, describing it as a more playful than sexual exchange. And, in fact, according to the porn star, it served as a sort of ice breaker to normalize their relationship.
She said their first conversation "started off all about him just talking about himself. And he's like, 'Have you seen my new magazine?'" Daniels then says she called out his terrible game, saying, "Does this normally work for you?"
She then recalls telling Trump, "Someone should take that magazine and spank you with it." She said that Trump was taken aback that someone would talk to him like that, but she didn't stop there. "I said, 'Give me that,' and I just remember him going, 'You wouldn't.' 'Hand it over.' And so he did, and I was like, 'Turn around, drop 'em.'"
She said she just gave him "a couple swats" and that he had underwear on, but it was enough to break the tension and they started having a more normal conversation after that.
THE SEXUAL ENCOUNTER
"You were 27, he was 60. Were you physically attracted to him?" Cooper asked Daniels. She replied quite plainly, "No." She had the same answer when asked if she wanted to have sex with him. "No. But I didn't say no. I'm not a victim." She asserted that it was "entirely consensual."
"This is not a 'Me Too.' I was not a victim," Daniels said. "I've never said I was a victim."
According to Daniels, Trump did not use a condom, nor did she ask him to. "I honestly didn't say anything," she said of the entire encounter.
Daniels said she also asked about Melania Trump, who had recently given birth to son Barron. "I asked. And he brushed it aside, said, 'Oh yeah, yeah, you know, don't worry about that. We don't even, we have separate rooms and stuff," she alleged.
When Donald Trump won the Republican nomination, Daniels says she started getting calls again with offers to tell her story. And she got one offer not to tell her story. Mr. Trump's attorney Michael Cohen agreed to pay $130K in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement. pic.twitter.com/HB98pik8bj
So why come forward now? Daniels told Cooper she was perfectly content to stay silent, in order to protect her family and child, but the story wouldn't allow it. And as it grew and began to take on a life of its own, she has seen her name dragged through the mud and decided enough was enough.
"People are just saying whatever they wanted to say about me," she said. "I was perfectly fine saying nothing at all, but I'm not okay with being made out to be a liar, or people thinking that I did this for money and people are like, 'Oh, you're an opportunist. You're taking advantage of this.' ... I was concerned for my family and their safety."
WHY SHE'S TALKING NOW
Daniels said she was offered significantly more money to tell her story than to stay quiet. "I turned down a large payday multiple times because one, I didn't wanna kiss and tell and be labeled all the things that I'm being labeled now. I didn't wanna take away from the legitimate and legal, I'd like to point out, career that I've worked very hard to establish.
"Most importantly, I did not want my family and my child exposed to all the things that she's being exposed to right now," Daniels continued. "Because everything that I was afraid of coming out has come out anyway, and guess what? I don't have a million dollars."
Not long after the magazine story was killed, Stormy Daniels says she was threatened by a man who approached her in Las Vegas. “A guy walked up on me and said to me, 'leave Trump alone. Forget the story.'” pic.twitter.com/JMskKQiYCi
According to two former employees, the InTouch interview was initially buried after the magazine reached out to Cohen for his side of the story and he threatened to sue. Daniels says it was just a few weeks later that she was physically threatened over telling the story.
"I was in a parking lot, going to a fitness class with my infant daughter ... and a guy walked up on me and said to me, 'Leave Trump alone. Forget the story," Daniels said. "And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, 'That's a beautiful little girl. It'd be a shame if something happened to her mom.' And then he was gone."
She didn't go to the police because she was scared, and never saw the man again, but said she would "instantly know" if she saw him today, even after all these years.
Attorney Michael Avenatti disputes the notion that Michael Cohen was working in a purely personal capacity when he arranged the hush money for Stormy Daniels. pic.twitter.com/91T0ofMnjt
While the sensational elements of Daniels' alleged encounter are certainly interesting to the public, Avanetti says that the real story is how Daniels was bullied into silence by Cohen and Trump, as well as the possible political implications of a payout with ties so close to the Trump campaign.
"This is about the cover-up. This is about the extent that Mr. Cohen and the president have gone to intimidate this woman, to silence her, to threaten her, and to put her under their thumb," Avanetti said. "It is thuggish behavior from people in power. And it has no place in American democracy."
He cited Cohen's recent claim in Vanity Fair that he "might even take an extended vacation on her dime," in regards to the lawsuit he's filed against Daniels. "You threaten someone with a $20 million lawsuit, it's a thuggish tactic. It's no different than what happened in the parking lot in Las Vegas. People don't threaten people with $20 million lawsuits, that they're gonna take their home and take an extended vacation on the money they receive. People don't conduct themselves like this. They don't. And they shouldn't."