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Fact Box on Porn Star, Stormy Daniels who put Trump in trouble

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Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, the porn film star who said she had an affair with Donald Trump before he became U.S. president, is shown in this booking photo released by Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Columbus, Ohio, U.S., July 12, 2018. Courtesy Franklin County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via REUTERS

Former President Donald Trump was indicted in New York City on Thursday on criminal charges arising from alleged hush money paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to avoid a scandal ahead of the 2016 U.S. election.

Daniels has said she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, the year after he married his third wife Melania and more than a decade before the businessman-turned-politician – at the time known for a popular reality TV show – became president. Trump has denied the relationship and has said the payment was made to stop her “false and extortionist accusations.”

Here are facts about the Daniels and her alleged relationship with Trump.

STORMY DANIELS, ADULT FILM STAR

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is 44 years old and from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has been a well-known personality for more than two decades in the adult film business, appearing in and directing numerous videos.

WHAT SHE SAYS SHE DID WITH TRUMP

Daniels has said she was introduced to Trump in July 2006 at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. She said he invited her to dinner and they dined at his hotel suite, where he showed her a copy of a golf magazine with his picture on the cover.

“And I was like, ‘Someone should take that magazine and spank you with it,’” Daniels told the CBS program “60 Minutes” in 2018.

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“So he turned around and pulled his pants down a little – you know had underwear on and stuff – and I just gave him a couple swats,” Daniels said.

She said Trump asked her about herself and whether she would like to appear on his TV show “Celebrity Apprentice.”

“He was like, ‘Wow, you – you are special. You remind me of my daughter.’ You know, he was like, ‘You’re smart and beautiful, and a woman to be reckoned with, and I like you. I like you,’” Daniels said.

She said she excused herself at one point to use the bathroom and when she returned Trump was “perched” on the edge of the bed.

“I realized exactly what I’d gotten myself into. And I was like, ‘Ugh, here we go,” Daniels told “60 Minutes.” “And I just felt like maybe … I had it coming for making a bad decision for going to someone’s room alone.”

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She said the two had consensual sex.

Daniels said Trump made telephone calls to her over the following year and she met him again at his request in July 2007 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles to discuss her possible appearance on “Celebrity Apprentice.” Daniels said he wanted to have sex again at the hotel but she declined. She said Trump called her a month later to tell her he had not been able to get her booked on “Celebrity Apprentice.”

PAYMENT AND NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT

On Oct. 28, 2016, in the waning days before the presidential election that Trump won, Daniels signed a non-disclosure agreement in which she pledged not to publicly discuss her relationship with him in exchange for a $130,000 payment, according to documents filed in Los Angeles federal court. The pact was signed by Keith Davidson, her lawyer at the time, and Michael Cohen, then Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer. The document included a spot for Trump’s signature, but he never signed it.

In 2018, after the Wall Street Journal reported on the payment to Daniels, Cohen stated publicly that he paid her using his own money and was not directed to do so by Trump. Daniels sued Trump and Cohen seeking to have the agreement invalidated.

Trump’s lawyers subsequently acknowledged he did not sign the non-disclosure agreement and would not seek to enforce it. A judge dismissed her lawsuit because the matter was resolved.

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DEFAMATION LAWSUIT

Daniels filed a 2018 defamation lawsuit against Trump in federal court over a Twitter post in which he accused her of a “con job” after she described being threatened over publicizing her account of an alleged sexual relationship with him. A Los Angeles-based federal judge decided in 2018 that Trump’s remarks were not defamatory and were protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. The judge’s decision was upheld on appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court in 2021 declined to review the matter.

Daniels has said an unknown man approached her and her infant daughter in 2011 in a Las Vegas parking lot and made threats after she agreed to talk about her relationship with Trump in a media interview.

In 2018, she released a sketch of the man. Trump responded on Twitter to the release of the sketch, writing: “A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!”

-Reuters

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

CELEBRITY

Lionel Messi set to hang boots

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Messi Sets Record Straight Over Hong Kong Absence -

Inter Miami will be the last club Argentina captain Lionel Messi plays for, the 36-year-old forward said on Wednesday, adding he feels “a little bit scared” at the thought of the day he decides to retire.

Messi, a World Cup winner with Argentina in 2022, has a contract with the Major League Soccer side until 2025 following his arrival last summer after a spell with French champions Paris St Germain.

“Inter Miami will be my last club. I love playing football. I enjoy everything even more because I am aware that there is less and less left,” Messi told ESPN.

“I’m not ready to leave football. I’ve done this all my life, I love playing football, I enjoy training, the day-to-day, the matches… And yes, there’s always a little bit of fear that it’s all over.”

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi is preparing with his national team to defend their Copa America title, with the tournament kicking off on June 20 in the United States.

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Argentina will take on Canada in the opening match before facing Group A rivals Chile on June 25 and Peru four days later.

-Reuters

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Bidding opens for Messi napkin that defined soccer great’s career

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A guest looks at a napkin, written on by Barcelona's Sporting Director at that time Carles Rexach on December 14, 2000, promising a contract to secure 13-year-old Lionel Messi for FC Barcelona, on display at Bonhams Auctions in New York City, U.S., March 6, 2024. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Bidding began on Wednesday for a napkin on which soccer club Barcelona penned a promise to sign a 13-year-old Lionel Messi – who went on to become one of the game’s greatest players – with early bids reaching almost $300,000.

The napkin was signed in December 2000 when Carles Rexach, then Barcelona’s sporting director, agreed with agent Horacio Gaggioli to recruit the Argentine teenager who went on to become the club’s all-time top scorer.

Bidding for the document, described by auction house Bonhams as “blue ink on a standard Spanish waxy napkin,” was at 220,000 pounds ($274,824.00) shortly after the sale opened, according to the auctioneer’s website.

The online sale closes on May 17 and has a guide price of between 300,000 and 500,000 pounds.

“It was never legally binding, but emotionally it represents the deep link or the beginning of the deep link, that Messi had with Barcelona,” said Bonhams Chief Marketing Officer Marc Sands.

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Messi helped Barcelona win 35 titles, making a record 782 appearances and scoring 674 goals. Messi left Barcelona in 2021 and now plays for Inter Miami.

“If you love football, you’ll know all about Lionel Messi and you will know that he defined football for generations. If you want a slice of that action, this is the thing to get,” Sands said.

-Reuters

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Maradona’s children wants body exhumed

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A fan of Argentine soccer superstar Diego Armado Maradona celebrates the idol's 35th anniversary of the "goal of the century", against England during the 1986 World Cup played in Mexico, in Buenos Aires, Argentina June 22, 2021. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

Diego Maradona’s children filed a request with the Argentine Courts on Thursday to move the former football great’s body “to a much safer place” and for fans “to pay tribute” in a mausoleum.

Maradona’s remains lie in a private cemetery on the outskirts of Buenos Aires where he was carried in November 2020 in a massive funeral procession. Only family members are allowed to enter the cemetery.

The mausoleum, called “Memorial del Diez,” is located behind the Casa Rosada, the seat of the executive branch of the Argentine government, and will be open to the public, Veronica Ojeda, mother of Maradona’s youngest son, told local media.

“All the heirs request by common agreement to authorise the transfer to his next destination of eternal rest (…) in a much safer place than the current one,” said the note presented to the court signed by Dalma and Gianinna Maradona, and Ojeda on behalf of Diego Maradona Jr.

“And so that all the Argentine people and the citizens of the world can pay homage to our father who was the greatest Argentine idol.”

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The relocation will take place around Oct. 30, the birth date of the 1986 World Cup winner with Argentina, one of the family’s lawyers told reporters.

Maradona died at age 60 in November 2020 from a heart attack. Fans of Napoli and of the Argentine national team worshipped him as the “god of football.”

-Reuters

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