NEW YORK — Stormy Daniels, the pornography star whom President Donald Trump’s personal attorney acknowledged paying $130,000 just before Election Day, believes she is now free to discuss her alleged sexual encounter with Trump, her manager told The Associated Press Wednesday.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, believes that Trump attorney Michael Cohen invalidated a non-disclosure agreement after two news stories were published Tuesday: One, in which Cohen told The New York Times that he made the six-figure payment with his personal funds, and another in the Daily Beast, which reported that Cohen was shopping a book proposal that would touch on Daniels’ story, said the manager, Gina Rodriguez.
“Everything is off now, and Stormy is going to tell her story,” Rodriguez said.
Daniels first detailed her account of an alleged extramarital affair with Trump in 2011, when the celebrity website The Dirty published it but then removed the material under the threat of a lawsuit, according to the site’s founder, Nik Richie.
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Her story then remained largely out of public view until a month before the 2016 presidential election, when the website The Smoking Gun published an account that went mostly unnoticed by major news organizations.
In January, The Wall Street Journal reported that a limited liability company in Delaware formed by Cohen made the six-figure payment to Daniels to keep her from discussing the affair during the presidential campaign.
Cohen said Tuesday the payment was made with his own money, and that “neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly.”
A campaign finance advocacy group, Common Cause, had complained about the payment to the Federal Election Commission, which is investigating.
A White House spokeswoman referred all questions about the payment to Cohen.
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At issue is what transpired inside a Lake Tahoe, Nevada, hotel room in 2006 between the actress and Trump the year after his marriage to his third wife, Melania.
A lawyer for Daniels, Keith Davidson, has previously distributed statements on Daniels’ behalf denying there was any affair.
But in a 2011 interview with the gossip magazine In Touch Weekly, the actress — who the magazine said passed a polygraph exam — said the two had sex and she described a subsequent yearslong relationship. The AP has previously reported that In Touch held off on publishing her account after Cohen threatened to sue the publication. It published the interview last month.
In recent weeks the actress has played coy, declining to elaborate when pressed on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Rodriguez said her client will soon announce how and when she will tell her story publicly.