Adult film actress Stormy Daniels told CBS' "60 Minutes" she feared for her safety when she signed a strict nondisclosure agreement about her alleged sexual encounter with President Donald Trump's lawyer on the eve of the 2016 presidential election.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, said her fear stemmed from an exchange she had in 2011, when she was confronted in a parking lot in Las Vegas by a man who told her not to discuss the 2006 encounter.
"Leave Trump alone. Forget the story," Daniels said the man told her, before turning to focus on Daniels' infant daughter in the back seat. According to Daniels, the man said to her, "That's a beautiful little girl. It'd be a shame if something happened to her mom."
In the CBS interview that aired Sunday, she said that exchange was still on her mind five years later when Trump became the unlikely Republican nominee for president. Through spokespeople, Trump denies that he had an affair with Daniels.
"Suddenly people are reaching out to me again, offering me money. Large amounts of money" to tell about her relationship with Trump, Daniels told "60 Minutes" correspondent Anderson Cooper.
"Was I tempted? Yes – I struggle with it. And then I get the call," she said. Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, was offering to pay Daniels $130,000 to sign a strict, broad nondisclosure agreement with Trump, she continued.
"The story [of the alleged affair] was coming out again. I was concerned for my family and their safety," Daniels told Cooper. "I didn't even negotiate, I just quickly said yes to this very, you know, strict contract — and what most people will agree with me extremely low number."
Daniels' heavily promoted "60 Minutes" interview is unlikely to alter the course of the scandal already brewing over whether the contract with Daniels, signed just 11 days before the presidential election, constituted an illegal campaign donation to the Trump campaign. On CBS, Daniels also reiterated many of the details of an interview she gave In Touch magazine in 2011 but was only published in February.
But it did bring Daniels' side of the story into millions of American living rooms on a Sunday night, elevating her already considerable fame and adding to the headaches facing the Trump White House.
Representatives for Cohen and the White House did not respond to CNBC's request for comment on the "60 Minutes" report.
Daniels has said she and Trump were only intimate once, in 2006, and she was never sexually attracted to the real estate magnate, who is more than 30 years her senior. At the time of the alleged encounter, Trump's wife, Melania, was at home with the couple's newborn son, Barron Trump, now 12 years old.
So far, Trump himself has stayed mum on the allegations, but it's unclear how long the famously outspoken and pugilistic president can remain silent as Daniels and her account of their relationship dominate day after day of news coverage.
The question of whether or not Cohen made an illegal contribution to the Trump campaign by making the $130,000 payment is not the only way that the Stormy Daniels saga could continue to haunt Trump.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling has shined a spotlight on the Trump Organization's repeated attempts to negotiate a Trump-branded hotel deal in Russia. Cohen was deeply involved in many of these efforts, making him a person of interest to the investigation. If Cohen did break campaign finance laws when he paid Daniels to stay quiet, then theoretically, this could provide Mueller with leverage over Cohen.
Near the end of the interview, Cooper asked Daniels what she would say to the president, if he were watching.
"He knows I'm telling the truth," she said.