Stormy Daniels Testifies In Court, Recounts 2006 Sexual Encounter With Trump

Stormy Daniels, the porn star at the heart of Donald Trump’s hush money case, testified in a rapt Manhattan courtroom Tuesday about a 2006 sexual encounter that precipitated the criminal trial of the former US president.

Trump, 77, is charged with falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a $130,000 payment made to Daniels to silence her on the eve of his 2016 election against Hillary Clinton, when the lurid story of marital infidelity could have sunk his campaign.

Daniels’ testimony is providing a pivotal moment in the courtroom drama rocking the scandal-plagued Republican’s attempt to recapture the White House in November.

“The people call Stormy Daniels,” prosecutor Susan Hoffinger announced as Trump, dressed in a dark blue suit and gold tie, sat stony-faced at the defense table flanked by his lawyers.

Daniels, 45, wearing a black pantsuit and heavy eyeliner, began by answering questions from Hoffinger, who walked her through her difficult childhood in Louisiana, stint as a stripper and eventually her participation in the adult film industry.

Daniels said she met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe where she was employed as a greeter by the adult film company Wicked Entertainment.

Trump complimented her as the “smart one” because she was not only acting in X-rated movies but also directing them, she said.

Daniels said she was 27 at the time and Trump was “older, probably older than my father.”

She said a member of Trump’s security detail told her the real estate tycoon wanted to have dinner with her.

She said she was initially reluctant but agreed after discussing it with her publicist.

Daniels said when she arrived at the penthouse where Trump was staying he emerged wearing “silk or satin pajamas which I immediately made fun of.”

“I said ‘Does Mr Hefner know you stole his pajamas?'” she said in a reference to the outfit favored by the late Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner.

Trump changed into a dress shirt and pants and they began talking about adult movies.

“He was very interested in a lot of the business stuff,” Daniels said.

Trump, who was married at the time to his current wife, Melania, suggested at one point that Daniels should be on his hit reality television show, “The Apprentice,” she said.

“I said there’s no way NBC would let me on television,” she said.

‘Startled me’

Daniels said she went to the bathroom at one point and when she emerged Trump “was on the bed between myself and the door” in boxer shorts and a T-shirt.

“It startled me,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting anyone to be there especially minus a lot of clothing.”

“The intention was pretty clear,” she said, adding that she thought to herself “great, I’ve put myself in this bad situation.”

“I was not threatened verbally or physically,” Daniels said, although there was an “imbalance of power.”

She said they had sex on the bed “in missionary position” and Trump did not wear a condom.

“I felt ashamed I didn’t stop it, didn’t say no,” Daniels said. “I told very few people.”

Trump has denied having sex with Daniels.

Prosecutors say that Trump — desperate to kill Daniels’ story before it could wreck his chances in the narrow 2016 race — illegally reimbursed Cohen, to cover up the hush money payment.

Cohen, who has become a vocal critic of his former boss, is also expected to testify at the trial as a prosecution witness.

Gag order

The courtroom face-off comes exactly six months before election day, when Trump will try to defeat Democratic President Joe Biden for a shock return to power.

Trump will be constrained from attacking Daniels after Merchan on Monday found him in contempt of court for his repeated violations of a partial gag order.

The gag order is meant to prevent Trump from using his huge media presence to attack witnesses, members of the jury and court staff in a bid to influence the trial.

Merchan said that in addition a series of already imposed fines, Trump will face the threat of jail time for future violations.

The trial is the first criminal prosecution in history of a US president and is one of four cases against the real estate tycoon.

In addition to the New York case, Trump has been indicted in Washington and Georgia on charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election he lost to Biden.

He also faces charges of illegally storing top-secret documents taken from the White House at his home in Florida and refusing to return them.

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