The adult film star at the center of President Donald Trump's hush money scandal is speaking out in defense of someone you'd least expect. Stormy Daniels defended first lady Melania Trump, telling British tabloid The Mirror that people should stop attempting to determine how she feels.
"People should stop speaking for her," Daniels told The Mirror. "Maybe she's happy."
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she was paid $130,000 by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to keep quiet about an alleged extramarital affair she had with Trump in 2006. She's now suing Trump for the right to speak publicly about their alleged relationship and to get out of the non-disclosure agreement she signed with Cohen during the 2016 presidential election. President Trump has previously denied the affair, calling Daniels' claim "false and extortionist accusations."
But the president's story about the payment to Daniels has changed over time. While he initially denied having any knowledge of the hush money Daniels received from Cohen, it was later revealed that he'd reimbursed Cohen for the payment. Most recently, Cohen, who pleaded guilty to charges of bank and tax fraud and campaign finance violations earlier this month, said he'd made the payment to Daniels at the direction of "a candidate for federal office," implicating, though not naming, Trump.
But while Daniels has opted to take on Trump in court, it appears as if she has no issues with his wife, Melania. "Everything we say about her is a projection," Daniels told The Mirror, referencing the intense speculation that has followed the first lady throughout Trump's presidency. "Some people misplace sorrow and pity on another person."
The first lady and her marriage have been topics of significant speculation ever since Daniels' allegations of an affair and hush money payment became public. Shortly after news of Daniels' allegations broke in January, Melania opted not to accompany Trump to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as originally planned.
Most recently, ousted White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman has claimed that Melania can't wait to divorce Trump and often attempts to embarrass or humiliate him through "small gestures," like her unwillingness to hold his hand in public. "In my opinion, Melania is counting every minute until he is out of office and she can divorce him," Newman wrote in her book Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House, according to People magazine.
The Office of the First Lady has, however, pushed back on that allegation and accused Newman of "lashing out and retaliating in such a self-serving way." Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's director of communications, also told The Washington Examiner earlier this month that Melania and Newman "rarely, if ever, interacted," implying that Newman would likely be among the last people to know anything about what the first lady was feeling or thinking.
"The entire world would be interested to know what she feels," Daniels told The Mirror of Melania. "But if we never know, that is her right and I support it."