In July 2006, 10 years before he sent shockwaves through the world by winning the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump was a famous real estate mogul with a hit reality TV series, a new wife and a 4-month-old baby boy.
He was also allegedly having an affair with a porn star.
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On Tuesday, former adult film star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, filed a civil suit against the president, claiming the nondisclosure agreement she signed to keep quiet about their alleged affair is invalid. In court documents filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday and publicly shared by Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti on Twitter, Daniels states she and Trump had a sexual relationship, beginning at a July 2006 golf tournament in Lake Tahoe and continuing “well into the year 2007.”
This is the latest in an ongoing saga that first came to light in January when the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 just before the 2016 election as part of a nondisclosure agreement about her past with Trump. Cohen and the White House have denied the affair ever happened.
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders doubled down on earlier denials, telling CNN’s Jeff Zeleny: “The president has addressed these directly and made very well clear that none of these allegations are true. … Anything in addition to that I would refer you to the president’s outside counsel.”
As Daniels appears poised to tell more of her story, here’s a look back inside Trump’s world in 2006 at the time of the alleged affair.
1. In July 2006, Trump and third wife Melania were recently married and had just welcomed son Barron, then 4 months old
Trump and former model Melania Knauss wed Jan. 22, 2005, and welcomed son Barron, now 11, a little more than a year later, on March 20, 2006. In April 2006, Trump, then 59, told People in an exclusive interview: “Melania loves taking care of the baby. If we have more, it will be terrific.”
“He’s a very good baby,” Melania Trump, then 35, said of Barron at the time. “He’s not like a crybaby – he’s calm, and it’s fantastic.” Donald Trump seemed just as taken with his new son. Though he has often said he leaves the bulk of the parenting duties to his wives, he told People at the time: “I love to feed the baby. Not because I have to, but just because I love it.”
The new baby seemed to fit perfectly into the couple’s then much quieter life. The pair told People in January 2006 they enjoyed spending evenings nesting at home, either at Mar-a-Lago in Florida or in their triplex apartment at Trump Tower in New York.
Both said they valued independence in their marriage. “She lets me have my space, which is great,” he said at the time. She agreed, “We are very independent, both of us.”
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2. In the summer of 2006, Trump was busy filming season 6 of his reality TV series, “The Apprentice,” on NBC
In addition to overseeing the daily operations of his Trump Organization, the businessman also served as executive producer and host on “The Apprentice,” which by 2006 was seeing ratings fade.
Used to crashes and comebacks, Trump was thenconsidering new reality TV ideas and increasingly stepping up his public appearances, including one at Hugh Hefner’s 80th birthday party, Forbes reported at the time.
Trump would go on to host “The Apprentice” for eight more seasons, resigning only after declaring in 2015 his candidacy for president. He remains credited as an executive producer.
3. In 2006, Trump did not deny he was a “sexual predator”
Trump, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen women since launching his 2016 campaign, has denied all allegations of wrongdoing. But during a 2006 appearance on his friend Howard Stern’s radio show, Trump admitted to being a “sexual predator.”
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“You know about sexual predators and things like that,” Stern said, after which co-host Robin Quivers chimed in: “You are one!” Trump, appearing alongside daughter Ivanka, smiled sheepishly and said, “That’s true. That’s true.” What passed as harmless banter at the time later took on a darker note.
The interview came a year after Trump allegedly attacked People writer Natasha Stoynoff at Mar-a-Lago when she interviewed Trump and his wife for a first-wedding-anniversary feature story. Melania Trump, then pregnant with Barron, was upstairs at Mar-a-Lago during the alleged incident.
2006 was also the year that Trump infamously told “The View” co-hosts, “I’ve said that if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”
4. Trump began his alleged affair with Daniels
In January, In Touch magazine published a shelved 2011 interview with Daniels, in which she described her alleged sexual encounter with Trump. In the interview, which marked the first time Daniels herself confirmed the alleged affair, Daniels claimed she and Trump had “textbook generic” sex during their first tryst in July 2006.
Daniels’ friend, adult film star Alana Evans, has corroborated reports of the alleged relationship.
During a January appearance on “Megyn Kelly Today,” Evans said Daniels had a sexual encounter with Trump after meeting him at a golf tournament in 2006. Evans later told People that Daniels and Trump called her the night of their first alleged tryst, in what she believed was an attempt to invite her over for a threesome.
“I wasn’t attracted to him. It’s not like she was calling me with Brad Pitt, Mark Wahlberg. Even Will Ferrell, I would have been right there,” Evans said. “But not for Donald, it’s not going to happen.”
5. Trump also allegedly had an affair with former Playboy Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal in 2006
Last month, the New Yorker reported that Trump also had a consensual sexual relationship with former Playboy Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal in 2006.
The report detailed an elaborate coverup system Trump allegedly set up to hide and protect his extramarital affairs before his presidency, claiming he used “clandestine hotel-room meetings, payoffs, and complex legal agreements to keep affairs — sometimes multiple affairs he carried out simultaneously — out of the press.”
McDougal was allegedly paid $150,000 for the rights to her story by American Media Inc. (whose CEO and chairman David Pecker describes the president as “a personal friend”). She declined to give the New Yorker details about her alleged affair with Trump for fear of retribution.
But in an eight-page account McDougal handwrote, the former Playmate claims she met Trump in 2006 during a taping of “The Apprentice” at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles.
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Trump “immediately took a liking to me, kept talking to me — telling me how beautiful I was, etc.,” McDougal wrote in the account obtained by the New Yorker. Trump asked for her phone number, and they later allegedly had sex in a private bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel, McDougal said.
Trump’s campaign denied he had an affair with McDougal when it was first reported in 2016.