Wed. May 29th, 2024

Key takeaways from Stormy Daniels’ testimony at Donald Trump’s hush money trial

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May27,2024
Key Points
  • Stormy Daniels has testified about an alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump in 2006.
  • Donald Trump denies ever having sex with Stormy Daniels.
  • Trump’s legal team has suggested that Daniels was angling for a spot on The Apprentice.
Stormy Daniels, the porn star at the heart of Donald Trump’s historic criminal trial, testified about an alleged 2006 sexual encounter with the former president in a hotel penthouse suite.
Trump, 77, is accused of falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a US$130,000 ($197,000) hush money payment to Daniels on the eve of his 2016 election against Hillary Clinton, when the lurid story of marital infidelity could have sunk his campaign.
Trump has denied having sex with Daniels, and his defence team unsuccessfully sought to have a mistrial declared.

The extraordinary courtroom face-off comes six months before election day, when Trump will try to defeat Democratic President Joe Biden.

‘Hefner’s pyjamas?’

Daniels walked prosecutors through her difficult childhood in Louisiana, a stint as a stripper and eventually joining the adult film industry.

The 45-year-old, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, said she met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe where she was employed as a greeter by X-rated movie company Wicked Entertainment.

Daniels said she was 27 at the time and Trump was “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 was reluctant but agreed after discussing it with her publicist.
When she arrived at the penthouse where Trump was staying he emerged wearing “silk or satin pyjamas which I immediately made fun of”, Daniels told the jury.

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

A courtroom sketch showing Stormy Daniels testifying.

Judge Juan Merchan presides over proceedings as Stormy Daniels answers questions on direct examination by assistant district attorney Susan Hoffinger. Source: AAP / Elizabeth Williams

‘Imbalance of power’

Daniels said she went to the bathroom at one point and when she emerged Trump was on the bed in boxer shorts and a T-shirt.
“It startled me,” she said. “The intention was pretty clear.”
“I was not threatened verbally or physically,” Daniels said, although there was an “imbalance of power”.
She said they had brief sex on the bed “in missionary position” and Trump did not wear a condom.

She said she entered into a non-disclosure agreement in October 2016 on the eve of the presidential election negotiated by Davidson and Cohen for which she was paid US$130,000 ($197,000).

A blonde woman poses for the camera at an event.

Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, said she did not tell Donald Trump to stop. “I didn’t say anything at all,” she told the trial. Source: Getty / Ethan Miller

‘My motivation wasn’t money’

Daniels’ testimony prompted Trump’s legal team to ask for a mistrial, arguing that her account included details, such as the fact that Trump did not wear a condom, that “inflamed” the jury and were irrelevant to the case. Justice Juan Merchan denied the request.
Trump’s legal team has suggested that Daniels was angling for a spot on The Apprentice, a popular reality TV show then hosted by Trump, a New York real estate mogul.
Daniels confirmed that she hoped he would cast her on the show following their encounter. Asked by Trump’s lawyer if she was now making money off her story, she replied: “I’ve been making money by telling my story about what happened to me.”
Daniels said she was determined to keep the incident private after being threatened in a parking lot in 2011 but changed her mind during Trump’s 2016 presidential bid, when he faced multiple accusations of sexual misbehaviour.
“My motivation wasn’t money, it was to get the story out,” she said.
Trump lawyer Susan Necheles grilled Daniels on apparent inconsistencies in the account of the parking lot threat she has told over the years. “The whole story was made up, wasn’t it?” Necheles asked.

“No, none of it was made up,” Daniels said.

What happens next?

Trump is under a partial gag order prohibiting him from publicly attacking witnesses, the jury or court staff.
Merchan has already fined him US$10,000 ($15,100) for breaching the gag order and warned Trump he may face jail time for future violations.
The case is widely seen as less consequential than three other criminal prosecutions Trump faces, but it is the only one certain to go to trial before the election.
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.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Key takeaways from Stormy Daniels’ testimony at Donald Trump’s hush money trial”
  1. Did Stormy Daniels face any challenges while sharing her childhood story during the trial?

  2. It’s disturbing that Trump continues to deny the allegations put forward by Stormy Daniels. The details of this case are crucial in understanding the character of the former president.

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