Today is the publication day for the Stormy Daniels memoir, "Full Disclosure" (St. Martin's Press).
The book industry might be in a slump, but President Trump has been working wonders for it. The man hasn't even been in office for two years, but we have had a steady stream of memoirs and exposes for many months, from the Michael Woolff "Fire and Fury" through the James Comey memoir, the Omarosa screed and, of course, Bob Woodward's "Fear," which sold almost a million copies the day it came out.
Trump's brief-lived press secretary Sean Spicer got a book out of the experience, "The Briefing," published in July. On November 28 , he will be talking at Sacred Heart University in their "Distinguished Leaders Series" (lol).
"Full Disclosure" isn't likely to outsell the Woolff or Woodward books, but the adult film performer, writer and director has delivered a very entertaining and very funny look at her life and her bizarre intersection with history in a hotel in Lake Tahoe 12 years ago. The prurient paragraphs of the book have already been strip-mined in advance coverage, but there is more to Stormy's story than her one night stand with our current president.
Daniels and her co-writer Kevin Carr O'Leary give us a fast-paced tutorial on life in the one of the biggest businesses in the country – the pornographic film industry and its lucrative spin-offs, such as guest spots for the performers as featured dancers in clubs all over the country.
Daniels is straightforward and unashamed in recounting how her veterinarian studies were interrupted by a tuition-paying gig at a strip club that quickly spiraled into a career (one that allowed her to pursue her passion for owning and riding horses).
She writes about the difference between adult film sex and having sex in "real life" – on a set, she always has one eye on a monitor seeing how she looks.
"Full Disclosure" also fills us in on the unique form of protection female performers use when they decide to have children. They demand that the husband or boyfriend appear in a few adults films, so that the woman's profession cannot be used against her in any custody case. (Stormy knew women who were branded as unfit mothers and lost custody because of the work they did.)
The performer gained freedom – and the power to write and direct her own films – by signing a long term contract with Vivid Pictures. The money is not quite as good as going freelance, but actors with a contract tend to appear in too many movies too quickly and burn out the audience's interest in them in a couple of years.
It was the businesswoman side of Daniels that led to her fateful encounter with Trump. The two discussed the structure of guest shots as a club dancer and the benefits of being a contracted adult film entertainer over dinner during a golf tournament (Vivid Pictures was a sponsor.) He dangled an opportunity to appear on "The Apprentice" and she basically closed her eyes and thought of England.Read Full Article
The book gets into the serious issue of celebrities forcing underlings – and bed partners – to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement that turns the signer into a form of indentured servant. We also get a good look at what it is like to be at the center of a media firestorm where no one is really interested in you as a person.
The author's self-awareness is very amusing. 109 pages into the 270 page book, she writes, "Okay, so did you just skip to this chapter? Quick recap for those just joining us: my life is a lot more interesting than an encounter with Donald Trump. But I get it. Still, of all the people who I had sex with, why couldn't the world obsess over one of the hot ones?"