He has survived two impeachments, and kept prosecutors at bay over everything from the US Capitol riot to missing classified files. But Donald Trump may yet land in court -- thanks to a 44-year-old porn star named Stormy Daniels.

At the heart of a scandal that could spark a historic indictment of the former president, the adult film actress became a household name, giving as good as she got as she did battle with the world's most powerful man.

Daniels' years-long feud with Donald Trump -- played out on social media and in front of the world's television cameras, where she was often filmed clad in her trademark pink suit and stilettos -- has come with a price.

Trump supporters routinely insult her on social media, echoing the Republican leader who infamously nicknamed her "horseface."

But Daniels -- who once toyed with entering politics herself and shows no shortage of ambition, character or wit -- has largely handled the spotlight with aplomb.

Stephanie Clifford -- her real name, though she prefers to use her stage one -- was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and raised by her mother following her parents' divorce. She was neglected by her family and sexually abused at age nine by an older man, she wrote in a 2018 memoir.

Despite everything, she was a good student, and passionate about horses. To earn a living, she first turned to striptease, then the adult film industry, where she became a star actress, director and screenwriter, earning several awards.

But it was her relationship with Trump that introduced her to the wider American public.

- Met on a golf course -

Daniels says she first crossed paths with the real estate mogul in the summer of 2006 during a charity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, on the border between California and Nevada.


Stormy Daniels has waged a years-long feud with Donald Trump, which has played out on social media and in front of the world's television cameras / © AFP/File

The actress had just made a brief appearance in the Judd Apatow film, "The 40-year-old Virgin." For his part, Trump was the new father of a baby boy with his third wife Melania.

Daniels was 27 at the time and Trump 60.

According to Daniels's account, he invited her to dinner in his suite where he welcomed her in his pajamas on his sofa.

She claims they went on to have what "may have been the least impressive sex I'd ever had."

Trump has denied they ever had sexual relations, accusing Daniels of "extortion" and a "total con job."

What is known for sure is that Daniels received $130,000 just before the 2016 presidential election -- a hush payment. That payment is at the heart of the Manhattan district attorney's probe into a possible violation of campaign finance laws.

Once the transaction was revealed in 2018, Daniels asked courts to nullify her nondisclosure agreement with Trump and began making the rounds on television shows.

- 'I'm not blind' -

On CBS's "60 Minutes," she said she wanted to set the record straight.

"I'm not a victim," she stated flatly. And even if she was not attracted to him that night in Lake Tahoe, she said their relationship was consensual.

The actress was also clear-eyed about the promises she said Trump made regarding a role in the hit show "The Apprentice," which had propelled the real estate mogul even further into the public eye.

Did she think he was trying to lure her?

"Of course. I mean, I'm not blind. But at the same time, maybe it'll work out," she said, adding that she saw the relationship as a potential boost to her career.

In the past few days, with Trump predicting he was going to be arrested in connection with the payment made to her -- and lobbing unflattering nicknames in her direction on social media -- she has pushed back.

She has taunted him with a crude monikers of her own -- such as "Tiny," a less than flattering reference to his anatomy.

While Daniels' standoff with Trump earned her plenty of enemies among his supporters, the limelight has not displeased the longtime actress -- who gave serious consideration to running for a US Senate seat from Louisiana back in 2010.

Daniels, who has a daughter, married fellow porn actor Barrett Blade last year. He is her fourth husband.