Adult film star Stormy Daniels, in the midst of a publicity tour fueled by past allegations of a 2006 sexual relationship with a then-married Donald Trump, said in a statement Tuesday the alleged affair never occurred.
A lawyer for Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, confirmed the statement was authentic but didn’t offer any further details.
The statement comes at a curious time for Clifford, who is scheduled to appear following the president’s State of the Union address on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” In recent weeks she has changed production companies, given a television interview and promoted strip club appearances with a risque play on Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, has denied there was any affair.
Clifford’s 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 Cohen brokered a $130,000 payment to Clifford to keep her from publicly discussing it.
A week after that report, In Touch magazine printed a 5,000-word interview it conducted with Clifford in 2011 but never published after Cohen threatened the tabloid with a lawsuit, The Associated Press has previously reported.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, brokered a $130,000 payment to Daniels to keep her from publicly discussing it.
In that interview, Clifford described a single sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, when he was recently married to his third wife, Melania, as well as a subsequent years-long relationship with the reality TV star. The magazine said it corroborated her account with friends and said she passed a lie detector test.
In her statement Tuesday, Clifford said she wasn’t denying the affair because she was paid “hush money,” but rather “because it never happened.”
Neither Cohen nor Clifford has addressed whether she was paid $130,000, or if so, why.
A publicist didn’t respond to questions about the statement Tuesday.