Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels is at the center of President Trump‘s latest controversy. Trump’s lawyer is said to have paid the actress $130,000 just a month before the 2016 election so she would keep quiet over an alleged one-night encounter back in 2006. The White House and the actress have denied she and Trump had a sexual relationship.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was born in Baton Rouge, La., on March 17, 1979. Her parents divorced when she was 4 years old, and she was raised by her single mother.
At 17, Clifford began dancing at her hometown’s strip clubs before choosing to pursue a career as an adult-film actress.
In her self-written Twitter bio, she says she is a “Wicked Pictures contract star, writer/director, feature dancer, Penthouse Pet & attempted equestrian.”
Clifford’s stage name comes from the love of her Southern roots and her love for rock ‘n’ roll: Stormy is the name of the daughter of Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx, and Jack Daniels whiskey, of course, hails from the Southern state of Tennessee.
The 38-year-old has had a contract with the porn studio Wicked Pictures since 2002 and has directed for the company since 2004. She has won multiple industry awards for her work as an actress and director. She has appeared in more than 150 adult films.
Clifford has dabbled in mainstream media as well. She had a small role in the comedy The 40-Year-Old Virgin, starring Steve Carell. She was cast as a dancer in the pop band Maroon 5’s “Wake Up Call” video in 2007.
In 2009, Clifford almost tried her luck in politics. Via the website DraftStormy.com, she was recruited by a substantial number of her fans to run against Republican Sen. David Vitter in Louisiana in 2010. She announced she would consider running as a Republican candidate.
In a statement released to the media in April 2010, she noted: “I am ready today to declare that should I seek the office of U.S. Senator from the great state of Louisiana, that I will do so as a Republican.” However, her political career was cut short and she never actually ran for office.
Clifford has been married twice and has a 7-year-old daughter.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump‘s attorney Michael Cohen arranged a nondisclosure agreement and the $130,000 payment with Clifford’s lawyer. Trump and Clifford allegedly had a sexual encounter after they met at a July 2006 celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, one year after he married Melania Trump.