Tuesday 19 June 2018

Porn actress Stormy casts doubt on denial of affair with president

Porn star Stormy Daniels laughs with host Jimmy Kimmel during an appearance on his ABC chat show. Photo: Randy Holmes/AP
Porn star Stormy Daniels laughs with host Jimmy Kimmel during an appearance on his ABC chat show. Photo: Randy Holmes/AP

Jeff Horwitz and Jake Pearson

Pornographic actress Stormy Daniels has stoked controversy by suggesting that maybe it wasn't her signature on a statement denying she had an affair with Donald Trump prior to the 2016 election.

Daniels, in the middle of a publicity tour fuelled by the allegations of an affair, appeared on the 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' TV show after the president's State of the Union address.

In recent weeks she has changed production companies, given a television interview and promoted strip club appearances with a risqué play on Mr Trump's 'Make America Great Again' campaign slogan.

Michael Cohen, Mr Trump's personal lawyer, has denied there was any affair.

Jokes

On Kimmel's show, Daniels ducked most of his questions about the alleged affair by either remaining silent or cracking jokes.

She vaguely addressed the legitimacy of the new statement.

Kimmel began by displaying a copy and comparing her signature on it to other examples. They didn't match, he said, asking if she had signed it.

"I don't know, did I?" she said. "That doesn't look like my signature, does it?"

The host asked if that was an admission that the statement was written and released without her approval, which drew a smile, coy look and a giggle from Daniels.

The rest of the interview went on in the same vein, as she skirted whether she had signed a non-disclosure agreement, if an 'In Touch' magazine interview was accurate - "Not as it is written", she replied - and if the magazine's full transcript of her comments was accurate.

When Kimmel started to read details of her alleged encounters with Mr Trump, she interrupted: "I thought this was a talk show, not a horror movie. Because this is a whole different pay scale."

Daniels' allegation, first made in 2011 and then again a month before the election, went mostly unnoticed until the 'Wall Street Journal' reported earlier this month that Mr Cohen brokered a $130,000 (€104,000) payment to Daniels to keep her from discussing it.

A week after that report, 'In Touch' printed a 5,000-word interview it conducted with Daniels in 2011 but never published after Mr Cohen threatened the tabloid with a lawsuit, the Associated Press has previously reported.

In that interview, she described a single sexual encounter with Mr Trump in 2006 when he had recently married his third wife Melania, as well as a subsequent years-long relationship with the then reality TV star.

The magazine said it corroborated her account with friends and that she passed a lie detector test.

In her latest statement on Tuesday, Daniels said she was not denying the affair because she was paid "hush money", but rather "because it never happened".

Neither Mr Cohen nor Ms Clifford have addressed whether she was paid $130,000, and if so, why.

Irish Independent

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