Stephanie Clifford, better known as ‘Stormy Daniels’, is famous on account of three hours spent in a hotel suite with Donald Trump 12 years ago. She says they did, he says they didn’t, and since everything that Donald Trump does or doesn’t do makes the geographical center of America ecstatic with praise while the edges explode with uncontrollable indignation, Ms Clifford has fairly earned her place as the starlet of series 220, episode 394 in this exhilarating, and never ending sitcom.
The left, which politely (if inaccurately) describes her as an ‘adult entertainer’ hopes to use the bouncing bombshell as a battering ram to bring down the president over his failure to declare the hush-money he paid her on his electoral expenses form, while the right rudely declares her a liar and a whore sent by Beelzebub to destroy the nation’s white-knight saviour just as he is on the point of making it ‘great again’.
In the first 109-pages of her book (dedicated to self-advertisement) she describes her loveless childhood, her fanaticism of horses and of books, her academic credentials, her desire to become a writer, her dedication to hard work and money-making. She explains how she started stripping for money while at school in Baton Rouge and diligently worked her way up the greasy pole of porn clubs to star, direct and script-write for the erotic film industry in LA. As she never tires of reminding her readers she has a photographic memory and despises untruthfulness — ‘I’m not OK with lying’ she writes, ‘I just have a thing about liars, and never wanted to be one’.
For some unfathomable reason she calls her bosoms ‘Thunder’ and ‘Lightning’. In a bra-shop fitting-room she discovers that her surgeon, bosom-booster, ‘Dr Grunts’ (is that possible?) has performed his task imperfectly:
‘Honey, you’re triple D,’ the sweet lady told me.
I almost shit my pants. I went back to Dr Grunts. ‘How big are my fucking tits?’ I asked. He was supposed to give me 450 cc’s on one side and 475 on the other, because everybody’s got one bigger than the other.
He hemmed and hawed, clearly not wanting to tell me, ‘You’re 575’
I almost shit myself again.
We get the idea. Trump does not appear until page 110, but since he is the raison-d’être for the whole book let us now turn our most solemn attentions to his role in the story.
So Trump meets Ms Clifford at a golfing club event to which she has been sent with other porn actresses to advertise the erotic wares of a film company called ‘Wicked’. One of her pornographic colleagues later claims to have been offered $10,000 by Trump for sex at his hotel that night, but Ms Clifford insists that in her case he was only interested in her skill as a director. Indeed, she says, he was the only man she had ever met who did not look at her bosoms, and he invited her to dinner (though no dinner was served) seemingly out of interest in her career. So she enters his hotel suite in gold high heels with Thunder and Lightning bursting from her favourite strapless ‘little gold dress’ where Trump greets her in black silk pyjamas. She claims to take an instant dislike to him on account of his ‘socially unacceptable’ egotism and straightaway barks at him: ‘Are you so insecure that you have to brag about yourself or are you just a fucking asshole, which is it?’ This petulence fast degenerates into her spanking his bottom with a rolled-up magazine. Then he puts on a suit and tie and they have a three-hour business conversation in which, among other matters, he offers to get her onto his TV programme, The Apprentice. Then she goes to his bathroom for a pee (it is apparently the nearest), toys with the idea of stealing a memento from his sponge-bag but returns empty-handed to find him semi-stripped, sitting on the edge of his bed. In typical bad porn style, there is no seduction, no first move, no conversation, just an abrupt cut from this apparition in underpants to her lying on her back (presumably naked) with him on top, in what pornographers sneerlingly dismiss as the ‘missionary position’: ‘I’m someone who doesn’t stop thinking’, she writes, ‘so as he was on top of me I replayed the previous three hours’.
Does her description of the scene convince? Readers will doubtless reach their own conclusions about this. I would place the hotel meeting beyond reasonable doubt, but ask whether she was asked there for sex, or was she really invited to a dinner, that was never served, to talk about film-making? Did she actually have sex with Mr Trump? If she did then she must have misrecalled the details to such a degree in her book as to render the whole encounter utterly implausible. I don’t know much about full-time porn actresses but have always assumed that as professionals of sexual intercourse, they do not, when they have boyfriends at home, go in for one-night stands with very rich men whom they find unattractive unless they are paid to do so, and if they are ‘on duty’, so to speak, they don’t just lie on their backs mulling what was discussed in recent business meetings, but try to impress the unattractive rich men by their novel or skillful ministrations. Furthermore I expect professionals of sex to be extremely adroit at brushing off unwanted advances. Ms Clifford claims the enticement of appearing on The Apprentice is what drove her to Trump’s bed likening her motivation on that night to that of a little girl in a horror movie who re-enters the house of hell just to save her pussy cat…hmm!
Trump has made his dislike of silicon breast implants (or what he calls ‘big phony tits’) abundantly clear. Ms Clifford says he never once looked at Thunder and Lightning at the golf club. Was he horrified when they bounced through the door of his hotel suite?Might his failure to get Ms Clifford onto his television programme and/or his withering rejection of Thunder and Lightning have driven her fragile and super-ambitious ego to vengeful rage or hopes for piles of cash? Who knows? I would think the mere fact of his having her in his hotel suite for three hours at night would be quite enough to warrant the hush-money — anything to avoid being cracked over the head by Melania’s frying pan!
For one who professes a hatred of lies, Ms Clifford confesses to many untruths in her book. She coyly refuses to tell her husband about Trump (he finds out through the media) even though she had earlier forced him to have sex with strange women on camera in return for bearing him a child. She claimed on television that a professional henchman had threatened her and her daughter’s life, to stop her gassing about Trump in public, but she failed to report the incident to the police and ‘forgot’ to tell her husband, the girls’ father, who again discovered it by watching her interview on TV.
So Ms Clifford is a preposterous figure. Yes she deserves a round of applause for momentarily enhancing the gaiety of the Trump circus but now perhaps it is time for her to take her bows, as she emerges through Full Disclosure as quite a boring and conceited person, whose self-proclaimed position ‘in the middle of one of the biggest political scandals in American history’ (whether she had sexual intercourse with Donald Trump or not) really amounts to little more than a stormy in a tea-cuppy, scarcely enlivened by thunder or lightning.