Stormy Daniels says Trump scandal has been good for business
By Nick Valencia and Dakin Andone, CNN
(CNN) -- Interest in Stephanie Clifford, the porn star known as Stormy Daniels, is at an all-time high, and she's using it to her advantage, she told CNN after a performance Friday at the Solid Gold gentleman's club in Pompano Beach, Florida.
Clifford has been in the news since The Wall Street Journal reported in January that President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid her $130,000 weeks before the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.
In her interview with CNN, Clifford wouldn't answer any questions about the lawsuit or comment on Trump or their alleged relationship.
She did, however, talk about how all the attention has affected her life.
"Now, yes, I'm more in demand," Clifford told CNN. "Like I said in the Rolling Stone interview, if somebody came up to you and said, 'Hey, you know that job that you've been doing forever? How about next week I pay you quadruple,' show me one person who's going to say no."
Clifford has been in the adult entertainment business for 17 years, she said. According to her website, she started out as a dancer in Louisiana before moving to Los Angeles to make porn films. Now, she said, she not only acts but writes and directs films as well.
"The phone has been blowing up," said Craig Korka, manager of the Solid Gold club. "Interest is volcanic. It's like the perfect storm."
Clifford's name dominated headlines this week after she sued Trump, saying a nondisclosure agreement was void because the President never signed it. On Friday, hours before Clifford went out on stage, Cohen told CNN he used funds from his own home equity line of credit to make the payment.
And later, an email provided to CNN by Clifford's attorney showed Cohen used his Trump Organization signature in an email. Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said he believes it's proof that Cohen was acting in a professional capacity as Trump's attorney in the negotiations.
Cohen has never stated the reason for payment. He and the White House have said Trump had no knowledge of the payment, and the White House has said Trump has denied having a relationship with Clifford.
While the notoriety has put a bigger spotlight on Clifford's career, she said, the attention also has its downsides.
"It's sort of been a double-edged sword where a lot of people are very interested in booking me for dancing and stuff like this," Clifford told CNN, taking away time from films and projects she's supposed to be promoting.
What bothers her, she said, is the "flat-out lies" that have been spread about her. "Like that I'm broke," she said. "I'm actually one of the most successful adult movie directors in the business."
In 2014, Clifford was inducted into the Adult Video News Hall of Fame. She also has appeared in such mainstream box-office hits as "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up."
But even Clifford admitted she's capitalizing on the moment when interest in her career is at an all-time high. The attention has helped her in the short term, as more people turn out for shows on her "Make America Horny Again" tour (a play on Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again").
"I'm getting more dance bookings. I usually only dance once a month, and now I'm dancing three or four times a month. So that's been really great," she said.
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