Stephanie A. Gregory Clifford (born March 17, 1979), professionally known as Stormy Daniels, Stormy Waters, or simply Stormy, is an American pornographic actress, stripper, screenwriter, and director. She has won numerous industry awards, and is a member of the NightMoves, AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame. In 2009, a recruitment effort led her to consider challenging incumbent David Vitter for the 2010 Senate election in her native Louisiana.
In 2018, Daniels became involved in a legal dispute with U.S. President Donald Trump and his attorney Michael Cohen. Trump and his surrogates are alleged to have paid hush money to silence Daniels about a sexual affair she claims she had with Trump in 2006. Spokespeople for Trump denied the affair, and have accused Daniels of lying.
Daniels worked answering phones at a stable during high school. Daniels’ first experience stripping happened when she was 17, visiting a friend at a strip club, when she was convinced to perform a “guest set.” She began stripping for work at the Gold Club in Baton Rouge, and became a feature entertainer with Continental Theatrical Agency in September 2000. She chose her stage name to reflect her love of Mötley Crüe, whose bassist, Nikki Sixx, named his daughter Storm. As she is from Louisiana, she chose the last name “Daniels” after seeing a Jack Daniel’s advertisement that read “a Southern favorite”.
While working as a feature entertainer, Daniels met Devon Michaels, who was doing lesbian scenes in a pair of upcoming films – one for Wicked Pictures and one for Sin City – and Michaels invited Daniels to accompany her. Daniels accompanied Michaels to her Wicked shoot, where she met Brad Armstrong and co-starred with Michaels in her Sin City scene, American Girls Part 2. Afterwards, Armstrong invited Daniels to stay with him and she continued doing lesbian-only scenes.
In July 2002, Daniels was cast as the lead in a feature film for Wicked Pictures, Heat, where she did her first lesbian scene. In September that year, she signed an exclusive contract with Wicked. In 2004, she won the Best New Starlet Award from Adult Video News, which was a complete surprise to Daniels, as she was so sure Jesse Jane would win she made a $500 bet with another porn starlet. She has directed for Wicked since 2004.
Daniels was inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame on January 18, 2014, and was inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame on April 16, 2014. Her directorial work that year earned fourteen AVN Award nominations including a nomination for Best Safe Sex Scene for her performance with Brendon Miller in François Clousot’s First Crush.
Daniels appeared in an episode of Real Sex where she is seen participating in 2001 Miss Nude Great Plains Contest. In early 2007, she appeared in Dirt on the FX Network, where she played a stripper who helps to set up a basketball player played by Rick Fox. Later in 2007, Daniels appeared in Maroon 5‘s music video for their song “Wake Up Call” as a pole dancer. She appears in the film The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), when the main character (Steve Carell) watches her in the video Space Nuts: Episode 69—Unholy Unionand then tries dreaming about her. She appears in the film Knocked Up (2007) as a lap dancer.
A group of fans attempted to recruit Daniels to run against Republican Senator David Vitter in Louisiana in 2010. The recruitment process was centered around the website DraftStormy.com. On May 21, 2009, she formed an exploratory committee, initially inspired by revelations about “Vitter’s connections to a prostitution ring”. In August 2009, her campaign manager’s car was blown up, although no one was in the car at that time.
In April 2010, Daniels finally declared herself a Republican candidate. Her decision was inspired by disclosures that the Republican National Committee (RNC) had paid expenses for fundraisers at a “lesbian bondage themed nightclub” in Los Angeles, stating that the revelations “finally tipped the scales”. She explained that the RNC’s use of party funds for sex convinced her that Republicans represented her libertarian values best: Daniels said she has been a registered Democrat throughout her life, “But now I cannot help but recognize that over time my libertarian values regarding both money and sex and the legal use of one for the other is now best espoused by the Republican Party.”
She made several listening tours around Louisiana to focus on the economy, as well as women in business and child protection and stated that if elected, she would likely retire from the adult industry. She announced on April 15, 2010, that she would not be running for Senate, saying she could not afford a run for the Senate seat and stating that the media never took her candidacy seriously.
Daniels was previously married to fellow porn actors Pat Myne (2003–2005) and Michael Mosny (screen name Mike Moz, 2007–2009). Daniels married Glendon Crain (screen name Brendon Miller) in 2010; their daughter was born January 2011.
The Wall Street Journal reported on January 12, 2018, that Donald Trump‘s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money in October 2016, shortly before the presidential election, to deny she had an affair with Trump in 2006. The Journal elaborated that the payment was done via a private company (Essential Consultants, LLC) established in Delaware by Cohen that month to a representative of Daniels. At the time, Clifford was reportedly in talks to share her account with Good Morning Americaand Slate. Cohen denied the existence of an affair on behalf of his client, Trump.
The Daily Beast was also in talks with Daniels “after three sources—including fellow porn star Alana Evans—told The Daily Beast that Daniels and Trump were involved. Daniels ultimately backed out on November 3, just five days before the 2016 election.”
On January 16, 2018, CNN reported that Fox News reporter Diana Falzone had written an article about Daniels and Trump in October 2016 that Fox News never published. It included Daniels’ then-manager Gina Rodriguez alleging on-the-record about a sexual relationship between them. CNN also reported that “Falzone had even seen emails about a settlement” between Daniels and Trump. The next day, In Touch Weekly published excerpts of a 2011 interview of Daniels alleging a 2006 extramarital affair with Trump. The magazine describes her account as being supported by a polygraph and corroborated by both her friend and her ex-husband. Cohen contended that claims made in that interview were untrue and had previously been published in October 24, 2011, in Life & Style magazine. However, The Daily Beast described the interviews as “hardly identical”, noting that Daniels had declined to comment to Life & Style, while the In Touch Weekly interview had direct quotes from Daniels.
On January 18, 2018, Mother Jones reported that in 2009, as Daniels was considering running to become the Senator for Louisiana, she had identified Trump as a potential campaign donor to a political consultant, and also described details of a sexual relationship with Trump. That consultant discussed Daniels’ revelations to another consultant in e-mails that Mother Jones obtained and published.
On January 30, 2018, Cohen produced a letter allegedly signed by Daniels denying the affair and the payment of hush money. However, later that day in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Daniels claimed no knowledge of the denial statement with her purported signature. In a 60 Minutes interview aired March 25, 2018 (see more details about the interview a few paragraphs below) Daniels acknowledged signing the statement.
On February 13, 2018, Cohen publicly acknowledged having paid Daniels $130,000 and said the payment was facilitated with his own funds. He also said he was not reimbursed by The Trump Organization or the 2016 Trump presidential campaign. In response, Daniels’ attorneys notified Cohen that by disclosing the payment he was in breach of the agreement, meaning that she was no longer bound by the agreement.
On March 6, 2018, Daniels filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump in California Superior Court, claiming, among other things, that the nondisclosure agreement never came into effect because Trump never signed it. The suit, which is a complaint for declaratory relief, seeks a judgment declaring that no agreement was formed and for costs of the suit and other relief the Court might deem proper. In response, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that President Trump’s personal attorneys had won an arbitration case “in the President’s favor” against Daniels, and that “there was no knowledge of any payments [to Daniels] from the President”. NBC News reported that Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, initiated a private arbitration case on February 27, 2018, against Daniels, and obtained a restraining order that states that Daniels will face penalties if she discusses in public her alleged relationship with Trump. On March 14, 2018, documents surfaced indicating that Jill Martin, assistant general counsel for the Trump Organization, had signed legal papers in connection with the restraining order against Daniels.
On March 16, Cohen, with Trump’s approval, asked for Daniels’ suit to be moved from state to federal court, based on the criteria that the parties live in different places and the amount at stake is more than $75,000. Cohen asserted that Daniels could owe up to $20 million in liquidated damages for breaching the agreement. The filing marked the first time that Trump himself, through his personal attorney, has taken part in the Daniels litigation.
Daniels’ involvement with Trump was the subject of a segment on the U.S. television news program 60 Minutes, airing on March 25, 2018. The segment included interviews by Anderson Cooper with Daniels, her attorney Michael Avenatti, and Trevor Potter, the former chairman of the Federal Election Commission. In her interview, Daniels said that she briefly spanked Trump with a copy of a magazine while Trump told her that she reminded him of his daughter Ivanka; that she had sex with Trump in the same encounter; that she later met Trump privately and did not have sex on that occasion; and that, under pressure from her former business manager–lawyer, she signed multiple false statements that the affair did not happen. She also said that, in a Las Vegas parking lot, an unknown man showed up at her car and said “Leave Trump alone. Forget the story. [Referring to Daniel’s infant daughter] That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.” Daniels stated that she did not know the identity of the man, and never saw him again but that, even today, she could instantly identify him if she saw him again. Lawyer Avenatti said that his firm is making progress in their efforts to identify the man who made the threat. 
Biography Credit: Wikipedia