TIME

Provocateur Stormy Daniels takes an unexpected turn in the national spotlight

TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE FAMOUS like Stormy Daniels, for the reasons she is famous, spend time with her in a public space. She walks quickly, her head down, blending in with the neighborhood moms at an upscale Manhattan mall—petite, hardly noticeable in jeans, sneakers and a gray, long-sleeved T-shirt. But her anonymity is deliberate. She avoids eye contact, folding into herself as if pressing into a fierce wind.

Once inside the shelter of a photo studio, she unfurls, becoming yet again the woman we know from the media: wry, unflinching and lightning quick with a snarky retort. It has been an incendiary year. On Oct. 15, a California judge threw out the defamation case she filed against Donald Trump. Her other lawsuit against the President, over a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) that forbade her to talk about

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from TIME

TIME5 min read
Sportscaster Jessica Mendoza Breaks Barriers, Juggles Jobs And Wants Baseball To Change Its Ways
JESSICA MENDOZA, THE GLASS-SHATTERING baseball broadcaster who is the first woman, in any major American men’s team sport, to serve as top color commentator for a national network, never envisioned this: walking through Fenway Park, on her way to cal
TIME5 min read
When The Finale Isn’t Final
THE LAST TIME WE SAW JESSE Pinkman, in the series finale of Breaking Bad, he’d just escaped a massacre. After refusing to put a mortally wounded Walter White (Bryan Cranston) out of his misery—an act that would’ve added one more sin to the long list
TIME11 min readPolitics
Trump’s Conspiracy Cops
THE WARNING SIGNS WERE THERE. IN A tweet or offhand remark, President Donald Trump would touch on what he said Ukraine had done to him during the 2016 election. Top Administration officials got an earful. Foreign leaders were treated to the stories.