Stormy Daniels Says Trump Scandal Has Been Good For Business
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Stormy Daniels is having a moment. Her real name is Stephanie Clifford, and she's the adult film actress who allegedly had an affair with the president and had an agreement to keep quiet in return for money. Daniels says she now wants to give back the $130,000 dollars. President Trump's lawyer admitted paying her in the runup to the 2016 election. Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, sent a letter to the president's lawyer, offering the money in return for voiding the agreement. Here's Avenatti yesterday on NPR's All Things Considered.
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MICHAEL AVENATTI: The offer that's been made is very, very reasonable. The agreements will be deemed to be null and void. She can speak her side of the story, and Mr. Trump can come forward and tell his version of events if he disagrees. And we're going to let the American people decide, after they've heard both sides, who to believe and who not to believe.
MARTIN: Stormy Daniels has been anything but quiet. An interview with CBS's "60 Minutes" is scheduled to air soon. When she spoke to CNN recently, she said this whole scandal has been good for business.
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STORMY DANIELS: I'm more in demand. And, like I said in the Rolling Stone interview, if somebody came up to you and said, hey, you know that job you've been doing forever? How about next week, I pay you quadruple? Show me one person who's going to say no.
MARTIN: CNN's media correspondent, Hadas Gold, recently reported from a Florida strip club where Daniels performs. And Hadas is in our studio this morning. Hey, Hadas.
HADAS GOLD: Good morning.
MARTIN: All right. So you went down to this club where Stormy Daniels works. What were you looking to find?
GOLD: I just wanted to get a sense of what this moment was like for her and also for the people who came to see her. Were these longtime fans? Were these people who came just recently? Why were they there? Were they supporting Stormy Daniels? Were they supporters of the president? And I found all of that and - all of the above.
MARTIN: So it's fair to say Stormy Daniels is leveraging her - her case professionally?
GOLD: Definitely, and she is first to admit that she is taking advantage. And she's - as she said in that quote in her interview, that - why - why wouldn't she? She's been doing this for 18 years. She is very quick to remind people that, in the adult entertainment community, she is a well-known person. She's sort of a celebrity. She's been writing, directing, acting, doing these sorts of tours around the country for a very long time.
MARTIN: She's a successful businesswoman.
GOLD: She is a successful businesswoman. In fact, she's actually an equestrian when she's not working. And to be an equestrian - it's not a cheap activity to do.
MARTIN: She's doing well financially.
GOLD: ...She's doing just fine.
MARTIN: And even better now.
GOLD: Yes, and that's what she is reminding us. She says, I hate - one of the things that bothers her the most is when people claim that she's broke and she's doing this for money.
MARTIN: So this isn't just a salacious tale about an infidelity with a, now, president. Explain the larger implications here. What's at stake?
GOLD: I mean, for the president what's at stake - there could be campaign finance issues. There's also the political issues at play. And all - a lot of what we're seeing from Stormy Daniels and her team is that there might be more there than just the relationship. They have made allusions to text messages and pictures and things like that in some of these documents. We don't know what those are, but they definitely are kind of giving the signal that there is more there than just they had a few hookups.
MARTIN: What else did you learn from spending some time with her and the people around her?
GOLD: They're very savvy. And they - and they clearly understand what they're doing. They're not afraid of the media, and they're using it to their advantage. And they're being very careful. And if you can - you can tell, from her lawyer and from her teams, she's very well - I don't know if you could call it trained or just savvy when it comes to the media in not to talk about Trump - but keep - say just enough to keep you interested and wants you to continue talking to her - but also understanding that this is good for her own career and for her own business. But she herself, in her show, in her appearances, she does not mention the president. The clubs take advantage of it and mention the president and everything. But for her own shows, there's no mention of the presidency at all.
MARTIN: But the clubs themselves kind of tout this scandal?
GOLD: Oh, they definitely do. Actually, at the South Florida club that I was at, there was - one of their patrons looks a lot like the president. And they had him show up on Saturday night in a full suit and red tie to escort her up to the club.
MARTIN: Hadas Gold, CNN's media correspondent for us this morning, thanks so much for being here.
GOLD: Thank you.
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