A lively, candid memoir from person-in-the-news Daniels.
The author is a household name for just one reason, as she allows—adding, though, that “my life is a lot more interesting than an encounter with Donald Trump.” So it is, and not without considerable effort on her part. Daniels—not her real name, but one, she points out, that she owns, unlike the majority of porn stars—grew up on the wrong side of town, the product of a broken home with few prospects, but she is just as clearly a person of real intelligence and considerable business know-how. Those attributes were not the reason that Trump called her on a fateful night more than a decade ago, but she put them to work, so much so that in some preliminary conversation, he proclaimed—by her account, his talk is blustery and insistent—that “our businesses are kind of a lot alike, but different.” The talk led to what “may have been the least impressive sex I’d ever had, but clearly, he didn’t share that opinion.” The details are deeply unpleasant, but Daniels adds nuance to the record: She doesn’t find it creepy that Trump likened her to his daughter, and she reckons that as a reality show host, he had a few points in his favor even if he failed to deliver on a promise to get her on The Apprentice. The author’s 15 minutes arrived a dozen years later, when she was exposed as the recipient of campaign hush money. Her account of succeeding events is fast-paced and full of sharp asides pointing to the general sleaziness of most of the players and the ugliness of politics, especially the Trumpian kind, which makes the porn industry look squeaky-clean by comparison.
Daniels emerges as a force to be reckoned with—and not someone to cross. Of interest to politics junkies but with plenty of lessons on taking charge of one’s own life.