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Porn star jokes about sexual tryst with Trump

Stormy Daniels, at a Washington bookshop to promote her memoirs, compares the president to Burt Reynolds - but with socks.

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At an appearance on Monday to promote her book Full Disclosure, Daniels discussed her career, breast augmentation and her tryst with Mr Trump in 2006, for which she was later paid US$130,000 to keep silent about.

Washington

WHAT KIND of author works blue at a book talk at Politics and Prose? That would be porn star/memoirist Stormy Daniels, whose appearance on Monday night at the dignified Washington, DC, establishment was a good bit more profane - and, judging from the crowd's reaction, entertaining - than the usual highbrow literary fare.

The event had all the trappings that attendees of such gatherings are used to: neighbourhood bookish types perched on folding chairs, an august moderator (Sally Quinn, the former Washington Post writer and noted Georgetown social doyenne), and a well-known author.

But the curses tumbling from Daniels' lips clued attendees in that this was no ordinary Washington Book Thing, as did the pre-show announcement that she wouldn't be sticking around to mingle or sign books afterward, as she had a pressing engagement - performing at a DC strip club.

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In a rare public interview promoting her book, Full Disclosure, Daniels showed that she's not just a provocateur capable of dominating cable news chyrons, nor an X-rated dancer who can take home wads of cash. She can elicit laughs, too, even when the material she's working with is . . . uncomfortable.

"I went from singles to 20s," she said of how breast-augmentation surgery helped her stripping career. Quinn helpfully noted that Daniels had named the newly plumped pair Thunder and Lightning. "And I thought 'why didn't I think of that?'" the moderator wondered.

"There's a lot of paperwork - so much paperwork," Daniels said of the downside of the porn industry, where she started as an actress and has become a director and producer.

"When the whole world has seen your (anatomy), you have to keep something for yourself," she said on why she decided to disclose for the first time, in her book, her experience of being raped as a nine-year-old.

Although Daniels described her troubled childhood and the challenges of the porn world, the crowd was clearly there for the Trump dish. There were cheers when Quinn mentioned how Daniels had created a campaign-finance scandal for President Donald Trump by alleging that she had a sexual encounter with him in 2006 and was later paid US$130,000 for her silence about it.

And Daniels obliged, with more laugh lines, recalling how she met Mr Trump at a golf tournament where her film company was sponsoring a hole. "Trust me, that's not lost on me," she deadpanned. The future president asked her to dinner, she said.

"I was promised food, which I still haven't gotten." Instead, they stayed in his hotel room, and the scene she described had the room groaning.

"He was doing his best Burt Reynolds impression," she said, evoking the image of a 1970s centrefold. "But with socks." Even the fallout from that fateful alleged encounter was fodder for more jokes. Daniels said she was surprised to hear that Mr Trump's attorney Michael Cohen had disclosed the existence of the payment. "I thought, 'Great, not only do I look like a whore, I look like a cheap whore,' " she said.

The spat that publicly erupted this week between Daniels and her lawyer, Michael Avenatti? It's apparently over, though she indicated that she had felt blindsided by his efforts to raise money online for her legal battles. "I hate finding (stuff) out on Twitter," she said. She demanded an accounting of how the money was being spent, and was apparently satisfied.

But for the ultimate proof that Daniels is no typical author on a Washington book tour, look no further than this: She has no problem uttering the phrase "I don't know," a string of words that are anathema in the glib world of talking heads. When Quinn pressed her on why she had slept with Mr Trump, an encounter that she described as less than satisfying, Daniels threw up a white flag. "I have no idea," she said. "I've been asked so many times that I'm like, 'I should make up a cool answer,' but I've got nothing." WP