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Donald Trump

Read between the lines: porn star Stormy Daniels plays coy over alleged affair with Donald Trump during talk show appearance

Her appearance on the show follows the publication of an interview with the pornographic actor by InTouch magazine in which she claims she had an extramarital affair with Trump, years before his presidential campaign

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 January, 2018, 4:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 January, 2018, 11:05pm

The allegations that Donald Trump paid hush money to hide an affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels took another bizarre twist on Tuesday night during an interview with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel that followed the president’s first State of the Union address.

Hours before she was set to appear on the show, Daniels issued a surprise statement in which she flatly denied the affair in 2006. But on the show, Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, cast doubt on the authenticity of the statement, only to be contradicted by her lawyer moments after the interview concluded.

“She was having fun on Kimmel and being her normal playful self,” her lawyer, Keith Davidson, wrote in an email. “The signature is indeed hers as she signed the statement today in the presence of me and her manager, Gina Rodriguez.”

Watch: Stormy Daniels on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that a Trump Organisation lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels US$130,000 just before the 2016 election to keep quiet about an affair she had with Trump a decade earlier, soon after Melania Trump gave birth to the couple’s only son, Barron.

‘Furious’ Melania blindsided by Trump’s payoff to porn star: report

Cohen later produced an email in which Clifford apparently denied a “sexual and/or romantic affair” and receipt of “hush money”.

That doesn’t look my signature, does it?
Stormy Daniels

The new statement, addressed to “whom it may concern” and released before her appearance on the show, said: “Over the past few weeks I have been asked countless times to comment on reports of an alleged sexual relationship I had with Donald Trump many, many, many years ago.”

“The fact of the matter is that each party to this alleged affair denied its existence in 2006, 2011, 2016, 2017 and now again in 2018. I am not denying the affair because I was paid ‘hush money’ as has been reported in overseas owned tabloids. I am denying this affair because it never happened. I will have no further comment on this matter.”

On Tuesday night, Kimmel read the statement in its entirety and asked Daniels whether she had authorised its release. He held up several autographed photos of Daniels and compared the signatures to the one on the statement released on Tuesday.

“Did you sign this letter that was released today?” he asked.

“I don’t know, did I?” Daniels said, refusing to answer directly. “That doesn’t look my signature, does it?”

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“It doesn’t look like your signature,” Kimmel agrees. “So you’re saying perhaps this letter was written and released without your approval?”

During her appearance on the show, Daniels declined to discuss the alleged affair with Trump despite the host’s attempts using innuendo, carrots and puppets. She feigned disgust when Kimmel conjured an image of the president, lying in his bed at the White House, surrounded by McDonald’s hamburger wrappers, watching her on TV.

“I don’t want to imagine him,” Daniels said, drawing laughs and applause.

Her appearance on the show follows the publication of an interview with the pornographic actor by InTouch magazine in which she claims she had an extramarital affair with Trump, years before his presidential campaign and rise to the White House.

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In a 2011 interview with the magazine, Daniels details at length the 2006 relationship with the businessman, including encounters with his entourage, his teetotal lifestyle and phobia of sharks.

A White House official denied the allegations from the magazine, saying: “These are old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election.”

Nikki Haley slams rumours she had an affair with President Donald Trump

Last week, Melania Trump broke her silence about the speculation over her marriage amid rumours regarding her husband’s fidelity.

The first lady’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, on Friday criticised “a laundry list of salacious and flat-out false reporting”. It came after Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, denied having an affair with the president.

The Daniels’ statement released on Tuesday ends with an appeal to follow her on Instagram, where she posted a photo of herself lying on a bed with the caption, “Relaxing before the big night.”