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

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