'I’ve been very adamant that it wasn’t about rape, but looking back i was definitely cornered and coerced'THE CAMBRIDGE UNION

Stormy Daniels is a household name. Yet meeting her in person is something quite different. It’s easy to see why the adult film star enraptured the media — and indeed the nation — for so long, as she scans the room with her bright blue, watchful eyes. But it’s Stormy’s witty sense of humour that surprises me most. Despite the formal backdrop — a conference room at the Cambridge Union — Stormy’s sexual innuendos about a certain ex-President land every time.

“Politics is a dirtier job than the one I have,” she informs me. “At least now I get screwed honestly.”

Having gained notoriety from her “very brief” sexual encounter with Donald Trump in 2006 and the scandal that then ensued involving a false arrest, three lawsuits, and a death threat, the adult film star-turned-director is tired of being known as “the girl who fucked Trump.” Four years after the scandal first broke, Stormy is focused on her new ambitions in the porn industry- a career which, she hopes, will keep her a safe distance away from the White House.

“At least now I get screwed honestly”

“Oh my gosh, I hate politics, and every time I get away from it, somehow I get dragged back in,” she groans. “I make jokes but I’m actually really serious…there’s actually less assholes in porn.”

But what of her own political career? Though ultimately short-lived, Daniels considered campaigning for Senator of Louisiana as a Republican in 2009. Would she ever consider entering the murky world of American politics again? “Never say never, because the second I say never I’ll be in the White House,” she laughs. “But first order of business, I’ll paint it pink!”

Yet Stormy Daniels’ interactions with powerful men in the political sphere has been far from a laughing matter. After promising to reveal the full story of her dealings with Trump and his then-attorney, Michael Cohen, Stormy received death and rape threats, as well as an ominous warning from a stranger in a car park whilst alone with her daughter.

It’s clear that the “worst 90 seconds of my life” continue to haunt Daniels in her day-to-day life. She tells me that “whilst there’s all this big stuff that people know...it’s all the little things that are more traumatic.” Her regret is for the “days that I will never get back with my daughter, the friends who no longer speak to me…It’s those intimate personal relationships that were taken from me that’s the hard part.” Stormy says she still keeps a gun in her house.

Amid the critics, however, there has emerged an army of avid Stormy Daniels supporters (outside of her original fan base). From the ′Draft Stormy’ campaign, which began in 2009 in support of Stormy Daniels running for presidential office and has continued to grow, to MeToo feminists who proclaim Stormy as their icon, the adult film star has received support from every corner of America.

“I’ve been very adamant that it wasn’t about rape but, looking back, I definitely was cornered and coerced”

But Stormy dislikes being labelled a ‘feminist’ and has expressed confusion at suggestions that her story is somehow part of the MeToo movement. Nonetheless, her words of advice to speak up when silenced carry an important message for women today:

“I’ve been very adamant that it wasn’t about rape but, looking back, I definitely was cornered and coerced. But I didn’t say no, and that’s what I want to encourage people to do, to find their voice and to say no.”

Stormy finds issue not with the act but with the aftermath, explaining: “I was threatened and intimidated into lying, and that was the problem.”

Her progressive attitude towards abortion and female autonomy is also refreshing to hear, especially from a Louisiana-born Republican. She states simply, “I think, as long as it’s consensual, people should do whatever they want to do.” On the changing landscape of the porn industry, Stormy acknowledges that while, as a growing adult film director, she selfishly dislikes the emergence of webcamming and OnlyFans for putting her out of business, “it’s so much safer.”

“I like to go out and meet friends and get a dance, but no one’s harassing the girls, they can just shut their camera off, they can set their own schedule, it gives them more freedom, more control, more autonomy. There’s more positives than negatives.”

And what does she think of the changing landscape of dating? Despite being more interconnected with each other than ever, our generation has been pityingly labelled the ‘sexless’, ‘lonely’ and ‘Tinder’ generation. Is the golden age of Playboy and page 3 over?

“Nothing is more awkward than seeing people in their twenties try to interact”

“Everything is emojis and texts,” Stormy reflects. “People don’t know how to talk to each other. They meet on dating apps. It’s all swiping left and right, emojis and hashtags.” Stormy thinks pandemics only add to the problem; “No offence to your generation, but nothing is more awkward than seeing people in their twenties try to interact. And then you add in Covid and people being secluded and it’s made it worse.” Perhaps my face gives away my disappointment in her gloomy prophecy, for she adds quickly: “Maybe there’ll be a renaissance!”


Mountain View

Write For Earth: The Cambridge students doing their part to raise climate awareness

I wonder if she will give this advice to her own daughter who is now 11 years old and, Stormy proudly tells me, a “bad little bitch.”

“I have taught my daughter that the truth always comes out, and it’s better to make a mistake and own it than make two mistakes and lie about it,” Stormy says. Although some might think it difficult to picture Stormy as a stereotypical ‘mother’ figure, she seems to take a maternal approach to young women entering the industry, and I find her kindness towards me — she tells me she likes “the colour of my dress” — hugely flattering. By the end of our discussion, I find myself idolising Stormy Daniels and her complex, chaotic and, ultimately, compassionate demeanour.