The president and the porn star are preparing for another showdown.
Stormy Daniels hasn’t gone into detail about her alleged affair with Donald Trump in years. But 60 Minutes is reportedly set to air the porn star’s first in-depth interview on the topic since the 2016 election, including new information about the affair, three unnamed sources told CNN on Monday.
If the interview airs while Daniels is still bound by the nondisclosure agreement, however, she may to have to fork over at least $1 million to Trump. So naturally, she’s trying to get out of it.
Daniels already filed a lawsuit in California court last week that argues the non-disclosure agreement can’t be enforced because Trump — or “David Dennison” as he’s allegedly referred to in code name on the document — never signed it. But Daniels made another move on Monday which could help free her from agreement: officially offering to pay back the $130,000 Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen gave her in exchange for her silence about her alleged affair with his boss.
The letter, sent to Trump’s attorneys by Daniels’ attorney, does have a catch. Daniels only offered to give the money back to Trump — not Cohen, who said he used his personal money to pay Daniels and wasn’t reimbursed — "because we do not believe there is any doubt as to where the money came from originally, in reality,” Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti told NBC News.
If Trump accepts, Daniels could be freed from their alleged non-disclosure agreement. Typically, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that’s been left unsigned by one party could be voided if the other party returned the money, Roth Law Firm’s Richard Roth told VICE News. But Roth, a white-collar crime and employment law expert, said he couldn’t see why Trump would ever agree to the offer.
“It doesn’t really change much,” Roth said of the letter. “It keeps them in the news. It is a continuation of embarrassment for the president .… It’s not like the return of this money is going to keep it quiet.”
Daniels has spoken publicly about the affair before: In 2011, Daniels told In Touch Magazine some of the details — not only did Trump apparently have her sign a DVD copy of her videos, but the sex was “textbook generic.”
If Trump accepts the $130,000 and ends their NDA, Daniels would be once again free to “speak openly and freely about her prior relationship with the president and the attempts to silence her,” according to the terms of the letter. She also wants to be able to “use and publish any text messages, photos and/or videos relating to the president that she may have in her possession, all without fear of retribution and/or legal liability for damages.”
Trump would also be forbidden from doing anything that could block the interview that Daniels purportedly did with 60 Minutes from airing. An unnamed source told Buzzfeed News on Saturday that lawyers linked to Trump are preparing legal action that would keep the interview off the air. A spokesperson for CBS declined to comment on the report; Larry Rosen, who’s representing Cohen, didn’t respond to request for comment.
CBS hasn’t confirmed nor denied the existence of the taped interview. But Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, recently tweeted a photo of himself, Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — and 60 Minutes correspondent Anderson Cooper.
Avenatti didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The White House has denied the affair, but if Trump did ever pay Cohen back, or if he had Cohen make the payment in an effort to influence the election, Trump may have broken federal election law, government watchdog groups told VICE News last week. Daniels was allegedly paid off in October 2016, shortly after a tape of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women leaked and at a time when the Trump campaign couldn’t afford further questions about Trump’s conduct toward women.
The letter’s offer expires at noon on Tuesday. 60 Minutes’ interview with Daniels is set to air on March 18, according to Buzzfeed News.
Cover image: Stormy Daniels poses for a photo before her performance at Gossip Night Club on February 22, 2018 in Melville, New York. (Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images)