UPDATED: Despite rumors that Stormy Daniels would be the big signing coup for the new season of “Celebrity Big Brother” in the U.K., the notorious porn star was not one of the 13 celebrities to enter the house on Thursday night’s launch show on Channel 5.
The Sun tabloid said that Daniels, who was allegedly paid off to keep quiet about a sexual encounter with Donald Trump, had been booked to go on the show for a record fee of £750,000 ($950,000) to appear for just a single week but that, after arriving in London, she made a last-minute demand for an extra £100,000, which was rebuffed. She then “refused” to appear, the newspaper said, quoting an anonymous source as saying producers “tried everything to persuade her to stay….Everything in the house was ready for her. To say it’s been a nightmare is an absolute understatement. Everyone is completely baffled.”
On Friday, Daniels gave her account of events, telling ITV talk show “Loose Women” that her last-minute pullout was due to a development in the U.S. custody dispute concerning her 7-year-old daughter and not because she wanted more money. “Loose Women” presenter Jane Moore’s interview with Daniels was conducted off camera because of what Moore said were legal complications.
Showing a backstage photograph of herself with Daniels (later posted to the show’s Twitter account) to prove that Daniels was in the building, Moore said the porn actress was “very angry” at not being allowed to appear on camera to tell her side of the story. Moore said Daniels showed her an e-mail about the custody dispute over her daughter. Glendon Crain, Daniels’ husband, filed for divorce in Texas last month.
— Loose Women (@loosewomen) August 17, 2018
Moore said that after receiving the e-mail, Daniels “suddenly thought I can’t commit” to an extended stay in the “Big Brother” house. Daniels told Moore that she offered to appear on “Big Brother’s” live opening episode Thursday to explain why she would not be going into the house, but that the producers ultimately said, “We don’t want you to do any of it.”
“Loose Women” co-host Kaye Adams said that representatives for Channel 5 had contacted the talk show to “categorically deny” Daniels’ version of events.
Channel 5 later issued a statement confirming for the first time that Daniels had been due to appear on “Celebrity Big Brother.” A spokesperson for the show said: “We note the comments from the transmission of ‘Loose Women’ on ITV earlier today. Stormy Daniels was booked to appear on the show several months ago and hours before the show was due to go live, informed the production team that she no longer wished to enter the house as previously agreed. Producers discussed a variety of options with her but were unable to agree any acceptable conditions for her entering the house. Our focus is now on making a brilliant series with our fantastic celebrities.”
The opening episode of “Big Brother” unveiled a mock-up miniature White House, which the Sun’s source said was built specially to house Daniels. Instead, it will house “Cheers” actress Kirstie Alley, who was made president of the house during the launch show, even appearing in front of a podium featuring the “seal of the president of ‘Big Brother’.”
The show’s entire marketing campaign has revolved around the theme “Eye of the Storm,” with the slogan “A storm is coming.” Last Saturday, the official “Big Brother” Twitter account tweeted: “A strong storm is coming from across the Atlantic.”
Other celebrities featured include British soap star Roxanne Pallett; “Love Island” star Gabby Allen; soccer player Jermaine Pennant; U.S. reality TV star Natalie Nunn; and infamous investment broker Nick Leeson, whose fraudulent activities led to the collapse of Barings Bank in 1995, in a story depicted in the 1999 film “Rogue Trader,” starring Ewan McGregor as Leeson.