It was just last week that The Wall Street Journal published a report about Donald Trump’s newest sex scandal: One of his lawyers reportedly paid $130,000 to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film star with whom Trump had an alleged sexual encounter. Since then, one of the star’s friends has spoken to the Daily Beast and Megyn Kelly, and just this morning, Slate’s Jacob Weisberg published his account of trying to report this story with Daniels before she reportedly received money to stay silent.
While much is still unknown — such as whose money Trump’s lawyer used to make the reported payment — here’s what we know about the Daniels-Trump relationship so far:
Who is Stormy Daniels?
Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, is an adult-film star who had an alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in July 2006. According to recent reporting by The Wall Street Journal, one of Trump’s lawyers, Michael Cohen, reportedly paid her $130,000 as part of a nondisclosure agreement. According to a story that Slate reported in 2016 but just published today, the two didn’t just have a one-night stand — it was a year-long affair. (In the same Slate report, Daniels suggests that Trump is not the best lay she’s ever had.) The adult-film star reportedly wanted money for her story, though, and stopped replying to Slate just weeks before the election.
When did Trump’s lawyer pay Daniels?
According to The Wall Street Journal, October 2016 — the month before the 2016 presidential election. It was also during this month that America collectively listened to the now-infamous Access Hollywood tape in which Trump bragged to Billy Bush about grabbing women “by the pussy.”
Also, didn’t Trump marry Melania in 2005?
Yes, in January. In July 2006, it can be assumed that Melania was pretty preoccupied with Barron, to whom she had given birth just four months earlier.
And who is Alana Evans?
Evans, another adult-film star, was Daniels’s neighbor and friend who recently spoke to the Daily Beast and Megyn Kelly. She just so happened to be in the Lake Tahoe area near the tournament in 2006, and Daniels reportedly invited Evans along on her evening plans with Trump. Daniels called Evans repeatedly that night, and after picking up at one point, Evans says she heard Trump say, “Come hang out, come have fun, let’s party.” Evans eventually decided to ignore the calls but checked in with Daniels the next morning to hear how the night went. According to Evans, Daniels responded, “Picture him chasing me around his hotel room in his tighty-whities.”
Has Trump denied everything?
Cohen has given the same statement to The Wall Street Journal and Megyn Kelly Today, in which he denies the encounter between Daniels and Trump. “These rumors have circulated time and again since 2011,” he said. “President Trump once again vehemently denies any such occurrence as has Ms. Daniels.” He has also circulated a statement of denial from Daniels, though she has not yet confirmed it. In all his statements, Cohen has neither denied nor acknowledged the existence of the alleged payment.