How Stormy Daniels' Career Landed Her In Trouble With The Law

Stormy Daniels is a name Donald Trump probably wishes he'd never heard. Daniels was employed as an adult actress by Wicked Pictures when she first encountered the then-reality star in July 2006. What reportedly happened after landed Donald in a heap of legal hot water in addition to Daniels (who's real name is Stephanie Clifford), finding herself in a po-po predicament, too.

According to Daniels, shortly after Melania Trump gave birth to Barron Trump, she had sex with Donald in his hotel room in Lake Tahoe. Donald has always vehemently denied getting down and dirty with Daniels — despite her providing an allegedly detailed description of his most private part in her book, "Full Disclosure," describing it as akin to "a toadstool" and like the "mushroom character in Mario Kart."

Still, Donald was accused of attempting to hush up the alleged affair with Daniels by using campaign money to pay for her silence in a "catch and kill" operation orchestrated by The National Enquirer, and he's now staring down 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, per NPR. So, that's how Donald ended up on the wrong side of the court, but how did Stormy Daniels' career land her in trouble with the law?

Daniels in the clear, Trump in the swamp

Stormy Daniels was busted on a misdemeanor in Ohio in July 2018. According to The New York Times, undercover vice squad cops accused Daniels of allowing herself to be touched "in a non-sexual manner" while dancing on stage during a club appearance. Under Ohio's Community Defense Act, being touched or touching somebody in an adult entertainment venue while in a state of undress can result in a first or fourth-degree misdemeanor. The severity of the charge is dependent on the body part that's touched.

The seemingly minor incident was blown up worldwide as the Trump machine went into overdrive to discredit Daniels' affair and hush-up money accusations. Her then-attorney, Michael Avenatti, quickly pointed the finger of blame. He noted that she'd performed the same act at "nearly a hundred strip clubs" previously without issue. "This was a setup & politically motivated," he tweeted. "It reeks of desperation. We will fight all bogus charges."

The Daily Mail reports that following Avenatti's tweet, cops released a statement claiming the arrest was "part of a long-term investigation into allegations of human trafficking, prostitution, along with other vice-related violations." Following an internal affairs investigation, ABC News noted that Daniels' charges were dropped as she had been "improperly arrested." Two of the cops were fired, while the other two were suspended. The investigation found that the vice squad officers had lied about their supposed reasons for investigating the club.

Denial ain't just a river

Sadly for Donald Trump, his legal woes show no sign of disappearing. Per NPR, they've resulted in him becoming the first living former or current president to be indicted on criminal charges. In April 2023, following an investigation by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, Trump was slapped with a 34-count felony indictment for allegedly conspiring to illegally influence the 2016 election by attempting to buy the silence of Daniels and another woman, Karen McDougal. Both claim to have had extra-marital affairs with him. Trump denies any wrongdoing.

USA Today reports that Daniels was horse riding and blissfully unaware of Trump's predicament before arriving home to a media onslaught. "She was surprised, honestly, even though it was mostly expected," her attorney, Clark Brewster, admitted. "She feels bad that the guy has been charged," he continued. "But on the other hand, truly, she knew what the facts were, and she wants him to deal with the truth as well. So from that perspective, there's a degree of feeling like the system is working."

CNN reports that Trump's situation worsened when he was arraigned again two months later on a 37-count indictment claiming he illegally refused to return classified government documents after leaving presidential office. The beleaguered politician, who's announced he's running for president again in 2024, is also waiting to hear if he will be charged for attempting to quash President Joe Biden's election win in the state of Georgia. Once again, he has denied all charges.