Porn actress Stormy Daniels will on Sunday sit for a highly-anticipated interview that could shed new light on the affair she says she had with Donald Trump a decade before his election as president.
Contrary to its usual practice, CBS has not released excerpts of the interview, which will air Sunday at 7:00 pm (2300 GMT) on the network's flagship "60 Minutes" program.
Daniels told The Washington Post her work in adult entertainment had allowed her to develop a "thick skin," but "nothing could truly prepare someone for this."
She said she "simply wanted to tell my personal truth and defend myself."
Daniels has previously spoken about the affair, including in a recent post on Twitter in which she said: "Technically I didn't sleep with the POTUS 12 years ago. There was no sleeping (hehe) and he was just a goofy reality TV star."
Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, has teased the interview, posting a picture on Twitter of a DVD along with the text: "If 'a picture is worth a thousand words,' how many words is this worth????? #60minutes #pleasedenyit."
But on Sunday morning, Chris Ruddy, chief executive of the Newsmax website and a close confidant of Trump, played down its significance.
"This is politically motivated to hurt or embarrass (President Trump) in some way... I think the American people are really dismissing this as political witch hunts," he told ABC News.
Former Republican senator and two-time presidential candidate Rick Santorum told CNN the situation is one the president "can't win."
"Hopefully he will listen to people who are wise and understand that this is not a fight that he wants to participate in," Santorum said.
"It's just a matter of letting these folks say the things they have to say."
- Playboy model -
Daniels was paid $130,000 by Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, as part of a non-disclosure agreement that she signed shortly before the 2016 US presidential election, leading to allegations that the payment amounted to an illicit contribution to Trump's campaign.
Avenatti filed a lawsuit on behalf of Daniels -- whose real name is Stephanie Clifford -- earlier this month seeking to toss out the confidential settlement.
The suit alleged that Daniels began an "intimate relationship" with Trump in the summer of 2006 that continued well into 2007.
Cohen claims that Daniels is liable for at least $20 million for violating the agreement -- $1 million for each time she did so.
The White House has denied any sexual encounter between Trump and Daniels, who has offered to return the $130,000 she received so that she can be free to "speak openly and freely about her prior relationship with the president and the attempts to silence her."
She is also asking to be allowed to publish text messages, photos and videos relating to the president, Avenatti said in a letter to Cohen.
The Daniels interview comes days after former Playboy model Karen McDougal told CNN that Trump tried to pay her after they had sex.
In a lengthy interview, McDougal said she refused the money and that the two ended up having a months-long affair around the same time as the alleged relationship between Trump and Daniels.
McDougal wants to be released from a $150,000 deal she made in 2016 with American Media Inc, the company that owns the National Enquirer tabloid, an agreement she alleges was aimed at keeping her story under wraps.
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Updated Date: Mar 25, 2018 21:45:29 IST