No more mixed signals. Porn star Stormy Daniels claims that she engaged in an extramarital affair with Donald Trump more than a decade ago, and is suing to void a nondisclosure agreement she signed before Election Day 2016.
The Daniels saga has unfolded in the pages of gossip magazines and major newspapers, on late-night TV and in the White House briefing room.
Here is a recap of how an adult-film actress and the leader of the free world went from an alleged rendezvous in a hotel to a showdown in court.
July 2006 Porn star Stormy Daniels meets Donald Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Nevada, and the two have sex in Trump’s hotel room, according to an interview Daniels later granted to In Touch magazine.
“Well into the year 2007” Trump and Daniels continue an “intimate relationship,” according to Daniels’s lawsuit, “well into the year 2007.” It alleges that “this relationship included, among other things, at least one ‘meeting’ with Mr. Trump” at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
2009 or 2010 Daniels, exploring a Senate bid, has her last conversation with Trump, according to the In Touch interview. “He called and was like, ‘Hey, I just saw you on CNN’ or Fox or something,” she said. “ ‘You looked great. I love how you give it to ’em.’ ”
2011 In Touch conducts the interview with Daniels but does not publish it for reasons that remain unclear.
Fall 2016 Daniels talks with ABC’s “Good Morning America” about going public with her account of an affair with Trump, the Republican nominee for president, according to a Wall Street Journal report published later.
Oct. 18, 2016 The Smoking Gun website reports the alleged affair in a thinly sourced article. Daniels doesn’t comment, and it receives little attention from the mainstream press.
Oct. 28, 2016 Daniels signs a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) shortly before Election Day, according to court documents, accepting $130,000 in exchange for her pledge not to talk publicly about a relationship with Trump.
Jan. 12, 2018 The NDA and payment becomes public in the Wall Street Journal. Trump and Daniels deny the affair. His attorney, Michael Cohen, later acknowledges paying Daniels but doesn’t confirm an affair and says the money wasn’t from Trump’s campaign or business.
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post
Jan. 17, 2018 In Touch publishes a transcript of its 2011 interview with Daniels for the first time. In the interview, Daniels claims that Trump talked repeatedly about making her a contestant on “The Apprentice” but did not follow through.
Jan. 20, 2018 Daniels, without publicly verifying her comments to In Touch, launches a strip-club tour on the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration. She performs at the Trophy Club in Greenville, S.C., signing autographs and taking topless photos with patrons.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Jan. 30, 2018 Daniels plays coy in an interview on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” neither confirming nor denying an affair with Trump, while strongly hinting that she is subject to an NDA.
"Jimmy Kimmel Live"/ABC
Feb. 3, 2018 “Saturday Night Live” imagines what previous first ladies would tell Melania Trump about dealing with presidents’ alleged infidelities.
"Saturday Night Live"/NBC
Feb. 14, 2018 Daniels’s manager tells the Associated Press that Daniels will “tell her story,” believing her NDA was nullified when Cohen admitted to paying her. Later, the Blast reports that Daniels kept her dress from her first Trump encounter and plans to test it for DNA.
Feb. 22, 2018 Deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah struggles to answer questions about whether Trump knew that his lawyer paid Daniels to remain quiet before Election Day. “I haven’t asked him about it,” Shah says repeatedly during a media briefing.
March 3, 2018 At the annual Gridiron dinner, Trump jokes that his wife might leave him. “So many people have been leaving the White House,” he said. “... I like chaos. It really is good. Who’s going to be the next to leave? Steve Miller, or Melania?”
March 6, 2018 Daniels files a lawsuit against Trump, asking a court to officially void her NDA because Trump never signed the document.
March 7, 2018 Daniels’s attorney, Michael Avenatti, says explicitly on NBC’s “Today” show that Daniels had a sexual relationship with Trump.