No, but seriously.
FULL DISCLOSURE is one book in a sea of books written by people who thought to themselves "Fuck Trump" whilst riding the Cash-In Train, but unlike some of those books, she comes across as funny, sympathetic, and likable. I'm actually shocked that this book has such low ratings-- but on the other hand, no I'm not. 🤡
The memoir starts out with Stormy talking about her childhood in Louisiana, which involves her parents splitting, her mother's emotional abuse, and a rather awful and uncomfortable portion about her and a childhood friend being sexually molested by a neighbor as kids. She uses this as an opportunity to point out how people often say adult entertainment workers must have been abused to get into the jobs they're in, and how people don't believe victims (they didn't believe her). It's probably going to be triggering to some but she doesn't go into too much detail and I'm glad she got to tell her story, in her words, to such great purpose.
After that, there's a wild and chaotic journey through her venture and then stay in the adult entertainment industry. She started out stripping while still in high school and then a friend got her into porn (she started out with girl on girl and did her first M/F scene with a famous male porn actor who liked her and took her under his wing). Not only did she act, she also started writing and directing. I liked her descriptions of working on the set. I feel like some porn actresses seem to have regrets about their work, like Linda Lovelace and Jenna Jameson. But Stormy Daniels seems to come from the Asa Akira school of porn memoirs: she is enthusiastic and unapologetic about what she does.
The section I'm sure everyone came here for is in here, too: the hush money payout and the description of Donald Trump's wang. She describes his peen as looking like that mushroom headed thing "from Mario Kart" and said his pubes looked like the "Yeti." He also apparently had a thing about calling her "honey bunch." Excuse me, but no. Even grosser than the sex (WHY) is how he kept stringing her along by leveraging a guest spot on The Apprentice because-- I can only assume-- he saw that she was a professional and would be hungry for a spot that would land her into mainstream fame (HA THE IRONY). Which just goes to show how gross and sleazy and manipulative he is.
The payout/hush money part is even scarier because she was LITERALLY in fear for her LIFE. People were threatening to kill her (man showed up in a parking lot, saying what a "shame" it would be if "something happened to her" in front of her daughter) and her previous lawyer seemed to be in cahoots with Cohen, according to her, and was a shitty advocate. Her lawyer from the trial, Michael Avenatti, ended up being her ultimate representation and apparently you need a Discount Daniel Craig, Esquire, to see you through-- ahem-- "stormy weather" when it comes to legal woes.
I loved this book a lot. I liked her Southernisms and her sense of humor and her love of horses (which are worked in at every opportunity). She mentions biting a horse on the ear because it wouldn't stop biting her, and recounts how this see-how-you-like-it moment was a come-to-Jesus moment for the both of them. Holy animal cruelty, Batman. But it was the '90s and she was a kid and God, how she loved that horse. I think I can give her a pass for the ear biting since I think we can all agree that she's bitten off so much worse (note: she did NOT bite off the ear). Her roadie life with various late-90s/early-2000s metal bands was also super entertaining and her nightmare pregnancy is going to have me manifesting brain bleach for months to come, although did I cackle when she panicked at the thought of giving birth in a popcorn bowl in the back of a mini-van? Yes.
The discussions of child sexual abuse she endured as a kid and the intimidation she experienced as an adult are anxiety-inducing, and her relationship struggles in love and her mother's racists rants are troubling to read about, but every passage in this book feels weighted by her honesty. It's well-written and entertaining and I ended up tearing through this in a day (staying up half the night to finish, to boot). And it's all thanks to Trump lying about the hush money in the news again, because it made me remember Stormy existed and also that she had a memoir that I never got around to reading. Also, psssssst... it's free on KU, and I hear that every time you read it, the orange man has a nightmare about Shark Week (iykyk).
4.5 out of 5 stars