May 23, 2018 at 11:26 pm PST | by Robert Williams
Stormy does WeHo

West Hollywood Mayor John Jude Duran presents Stormy Daniels with the Key to the City. Her attorney, Michael Avenatti stands guard. (Photo courtesy Duran)

Hundreds of exuberant spectators and a flight of news media-some perched in the trees for a better camera shot-watched as Stormy Daniels was awarded a Key to the City on the steps of Chi Chi La Rue’s sex shop on Wednesday, as West Hollywood proclaimed May 23 to be “Stormy Daniels Day.”

Flanked by two handsomely dapper body guards, her media savvy attorney Michael Avenatti and West Hollywood politicians Mayor Pro Tem John D’Amico and Mayor John Duran, Daniels emerged from the sex shop to applause and posed for pictures before Duran declared it Stormy Daniels day and D’Amico presented her with the Key to the City.

“What did the gay mayor pro tem say to the porn star?” D’Amico asked. “Congratulations!” he said.

Daniels, wearing a black cocktail dress and strappy heels, joked that she wasn’t quite sure what the key opened but was “hoping it was to the wine cellar,” before expressing her elated gratitude for the honor.

“As a woman with two wonderful gay dads-Keith and JD-I feel especially at home here,” she said. “This community has a history of standing up to bullies and speaking truth to power, and I’m so lucky to be a part of it.”

Stephanie Clifford (aka “Stormy Daniels”) made a guest appearance at The Abbey to celebrate receiving a key to the city of West Hollywood on her official “Stormy Daniel’s Day,” but Michael Avenatti may have been the bigger hit with all the gay men taking their picture with him. But Stormy had the time of her life, dancing for hours with drag queens, GoGo dancers and even kissing a girl. (Photo courtesy The Abbey)

While the crowd was overwhelmingly supportive of Daniels and shouted “Team Stormy!” during the appearance, some in the community believe the City was acting disgracefully by endowing her with the honor.

“That the Hermit Kingdom of West Hollywood is giving Stormy Daniels a key to the city in front of a sex store so that the mayor can get on television is reason #1,387,296 I am glad to not be a resident,” reads the Facebook post of a gay Los Angeles-area attorney.

Duran disagrees.

“For 100 years this has been a place where people have defied and resisted,” Duran told The Blade. “For better or worse, Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti have become the faces of those challenging and bringing some accountability to the Trump administration.”

“We wouldn’t have known about the Michael Cohen slush fund and we wouldn’t have known about the secret deals that are happening between the Trump campaign and foreign governments without Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti bringing it into the light,” he said.

Balthazar Gallardo, who watched the event from Mickey’s patio, posted on Facebook, “I’m sorry but this is the stupidest thing I have seen this year.”

Lisa Belsanti, a city spokeswoman, told the LA Times West Hollywood was as “serious as a heart attack” in its recognition of Daniels and that if she can take down this “morally bankrupt” administration, then she “really is a hero.”

“We’re a sex-positive community,” Belsanti said. “The fact that Ms. Daniels has a career in adult films? We’re not ashamed of it.”

“There is one thing I can promise you about Stormy Daniels,” Avenatti said to the crowd before Daniels accepted the honor. “She’s not packin’ up, she’s not going home. She will be in for the long fight each and every day until it is concluded.”

And that, unfortunately for Trump, doesn’t appear to be fake news.

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