Fact Check: Stormy Daniels Said 2018 Letter Denying She Had Sex With Trump Is a ‘Lie’
Porn actor Stormy Daniels maintains that she had sex with Donald Trump in 2006. Daniels said a letter she signed under pressure in 2018, claiming the affair “never happened,” was a “lie.” But some conservatives are misleadingly citing that letter as proof that Trump and Daniels were never intimate and she was not paid “hush money.”
Former President Donald Trump is facing a potential criminal indictment over a secret $130,000 payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels in 2016 — shortly before that year’s presidential election. In exchange for the payment, Daniels agreed not to discuss a sexual encounter that she claims to have had with Trump in 2006.
Trump has denied the affair, claiming the payment was “to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair.” Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said multiple times that she and Trump did have sex.
But a January 2018 letter in which Daniels denied that they had intercourse is being misleadingly cited by some conservatives on social media as proof that there is no case against Trump.
Daniels has said that, although the letter was not true, she signed it under pressure from her representatives, who warned that her life could become “hell in many different ways” if she did not sign it.
“BREAKING: Signed official statement of Stormy Daniels admits affair never happened and that she was not paid ‘hush money,’” says a March 23 Instagram post from conservative commentator Jack Posobiec, who has more than 400,000 followers on the platform. Other social media users have made similar posts.
The 2018 letter included with some of the posts, reads:
To Whom It May Concern:
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, 20011, 2016, 2017 and now again in 2018. I am not denying this 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. Please feel free to check me out on Instagram at @thestormydaniels.
When asked about the letter in a January 2018 interview on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Daniels denied knowing where the letter, which appeared to have a signature different from her own, originated. But she later admitted in a March 2018 “60 Minutes” interview with Anderson Cooper that, under pressure, she did sign the letter denying the affair.
Here is the exchange with Cooper, where she called the letter a “lie.”
Cooper: So you signed and released a statement that said, “I am not denying this affair because I was paid in ‘hush money.’ I’m denying it because it never happened.” That’s a lie?
Cooper: If it was untruthful, why did you sign it?
Daniels: Because they made it sound like I had no choice.
Cooper: No one was putting a gun to your head.
Daniels: Not physical violence, no.
Cooper: You thought that there would be some sort of legal repercussion if you didn’t sign it?
Daniels: Correct. As a matter of fact, the exact sentence used was, “They can make your life hell in many different ways.”
Cooper: They being…
Daniels: I’m not exactly sure who they were. I believe it to be Michael Cohen.
Daniels addressed the 2018 letter again on March 24, in a tweet responding to someone who commented on a March 23 post from Posobiec, who had also posted the letter on Twitter.
“This is the statement Cohen wrote,” she tweeted, referring to Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, whom Trump previously acknowledged reimbursing for making the 2016 payment to Daniels.
“It is old news from early 2018 before I came forward. I think it’s HYSTERICAL that tiny is trying to spin this as some kind of new information,” she wrote, with “tiny” being a derogatory reference to Trump.
Daniels has previously described the alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, including in her 2018 book, “Full Disclosure.”
In another March 24 tweet, Daniels included a photo from page 226 of that book, where she wrote about the “complete bullshit” statement she signed.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.
Farley, Robert and Eugene Kiely. “Q&A on Grand Jury Investigation of Trump in New York.” FactCheck.org. 24 Mar 2023.
Farley, Robert and Eugene Kiely. “Q&A on Stormy Daniels’ Payment.” FactCheck.org. 27 Feb 2019.
Daniels, Stormy. “Official Statement of Stormy Daniels.” 30 Jan 2018.
Jimmy Kimmel Live YouTube Channel. “Jimmy Kimmel’s Full Interview with Stormy Daniels.” Video. 31 Jan 2018.
Cooper, Anderson. “Stormy Daniels describes her alleged affair with Donald Trump.” CBS News. 22 Aug 2018.
“Highlights from 60 Minutes’ Stormy Daniels interview.” CBS News. 25 Mar 2018.
Sidner, Sara. “Stormy Daniels shares XXX-rated details of her alleged affair with Trump in new book.” CNN. 19 Sep 2018.
Pearson, Jake and Jeff Horwitz. “Porn star who alleged Trump affair: I can now tell my story.” Associated Press. 18 Feb 2018.
Jack Posobiec @JackPosobiec. “BREAKING: Signed official statement of Stormy Daniels admits affair never happened and that she was not paid ‘hush money.’” Twitter. 23 Mar 2023.
Stormy Daniels @StormyDaniels. “This is not “breaking news”…here it is in my book from 2018 and it was discussed multiple times on TV. That letter I was bullied to sign is what actually made me decide to finally come forward after years of threats.” Twitter. 24 Mar 2023.
Stormy Daniels @Stormy Daniels. “This is the statement Cohen wrote. It is old news from early 2018 before I came forward. I think it’s HYSTERICAL that tiny is trying to spin this as some kind of new information.There’s a clip of this from the @jimmykimmel show& I discuss it in my book “Full Disclosure.” Twitter. 24 Mar 2023.