On July 12, adult entertainer Stormy Daniels was arrested at the strip club Sirens in Columbus, Ohio, for violating the state's "Community Defense Act." A police report said Daniels put "both hands on [an undercover] officers buttocks" and "then put her breast in officers face." I'd seen Daniels do the same while she performed at the Cloakroom club in Washington, D.C., two nights earlier. No one seemed to mind.
Daniels was in the midst of a national "Make America Horny Again" tour that capitalized on her legal troubles involving President Donald Trump. She says the then-businessman pursued and slept with her in 2006, then paid her to keep quiet about it 10 years later. Still, her performance in D.C. was, blessedly, not directly political. Before taking the stage, she worked the room with verbal charm and explicitly welcomed some patrons' heads into her bosom. The show began with her sashaying out in a Marilyn Monroe–inspired pink get-up to "Hey, Big Spender." The set followed with "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" and was overall more vintage vamp than vulgar.
But in Ohio, nude or semi-nude workers at sexually oriented businesses by law cannot touch customers or themselves on the butt, breast, or naughty bits at all. Daniels' arrest "was a setup & politically motivated," her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, tweeted afterward. Columbus police called the bust "part of a long-term investigation into allegations of human trafficking" and "other vice-related violations"—one of the more absurd extensions of oft-abused "human trafficking" laws. The charges, however, were dropped quickly against Daniels and two other women arrested the same night.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Stormy Daniels".