A former adult film star who reportedly was paid to keep silent about an alleged sexual encounter with President Donald Trump was once in Spokane to film a mainstream romantic comedy movie about the adult film industry.
Stephanie Clifford – whose stage name is Stormy Daniels – was in town to film “Finding Bliss,” which was released in 2009 and starred familiar Hollywood stars Jamie Kennedy, Denise Richards and Leelee Sobieski. According to a Wall Street Journal report published Friday, Clifford privately has alleged that a sexual encounter with Trump took place at a celebrity golf tournament in July 2006 in Lake Tahoe.
A month before Trump was elected president in 2016, a lawyer for Trump arranged to pay her $130,000 in exchange for her silence on the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Juan Mas was a supervising producer on the Spokane set of “Finding Bliss.” Though Clifford was only in town for a couple of days, Mas said he remembers her as being “extremely professional.”
“She was such a pro. She was so pleasant to the crew,” Mas said. “She was amazing. She was only here for a couple of days but she was such a pro when she was on set the whole time. It wasn’t surprising, but it was refreshing.”
Trump met Clifford at a golf event in 2006 – a year after Trump’s marriage to his wife, Melania. According to the WSJ report, Clifford began talking with ABC News in fall 2016 for a story involving an alleged relationship with Trump, but reached a $130,000 deal a month before the election, which prevented her from going public.
Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen arranged for the payment through Clifford’s lawyer, Keith Davidson, the Journal reported.
In a statement to the Journal, Cohen did not address his role in negotiating the supposed payment, but said Trump denies any such relationship with Clifford. Clifford has previously denied an alleged relationship with Trump.
On Friday afternoon, the White House issued a statement calling the Journal’s story “old, recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election.”
Cohen also accused the Journal of perpetuating “a false narrative for over a year.”
Adam Boyd also worked on the film in Spokane as the second assistant director. He echoed Mas’ impression of Clifford.
“The air of professionalism that comes with being an adult film star was very apparent when it comes to Stormy,” said Boyd, who now teaches in Eastern Washington University’s film-making program. He said she is a “legit” adult film star.
Boyd said Clifford did her own makeup and dictated her own wardrobe. Off-set, Clifford would market her own projects and push the film she made on her own at the time, an adult film titled “Operation Desert Stormy.”
“But when she came on set she was a completely different person,” Boyd said. “Instantly, she’d be at 100 percent, energywise.”
Asked if Clifford ever mentioned Trump, Boyd said, “I’m afraid I don’t remember her ever mentioning that.”
The movie was written and directed by Julie Davis, who also starred in the film. The dark comedy centered on a recent film school graduate trying to break into the competitive movie-making industry. Instead, she gets a job as an editor at an adult film studio.
Clifford, as well as Ron Jeremy, was hired as an “industry actor to legitimize the back story,” said Mas, who is now a freelance filmmaker and one of the directors on the “Z Nation” TV series.
Mas said the filming largely took place on set at Spokane’s North by Northwest studios, but he remembers a scene being filmed in a large conference room of downtown’s Spokane Regional Business Center building.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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