Inside the Fateful Stormy Weekend That Led to Trump’s Criminal Trial

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

At a Lake Tahoe golf course backdropped with azure waters and snow-capped mountains, adult film star Stormy Daniels took a ride on a cart with Donald Trump.

She and other porn actresses joined a potpourri of famous faces for the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in July 2006, touring the green during a practice round and mingling in the gift room on behalf of the studio Wicked Pictures.

“He was introduced to everybody,” Daniels recalled to InTouch years later. “He kept looking at me and then we ended up riding to another hole on the same golf cart together and he’s like, ‘I want to come talk to you later.’”

But The Donald did more than just talk, and 18 years later, the encounter at the Edgewood Tahoe golf course—involving what Daniels has described as Trump’s “smaller than average” and “toadstool”-like appendage—has come back to bite him.

Inside the Other Trump Hush Money Case

No one could have predicted that fateful day on a celebrity playground would set the stage for one of the future president’s four criminal cases during a crucial election year. Trump, currently on trial for paying off Daniels, is the first commander in chief in history to face a criminal jury.

He’s charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection to what the Manhattan district attorney has called a “catch and kill” scheme to stop Daniels from coming forward before the 2016 election about their alleged affair. If convicted, he faces four years behind bars. (Trump has denied the charges.)

Ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal, who also claims to have had a love affair with Trump, was in attendance at the same tournament where he allegedly bedded Daniels.

“My first thought was, ‘How could she have been with him, when I was with him?’” McDougal previously said. “The only time we weren’t together on that particular trip was when he was on the golf course golfing.”

“There were a bunch of porn stars out there,” the former Playmate remembers Trump telling her. “They were wanting pictures of me.”

Donald Trump golfing

During his Tahoe getaway, Trump behaved like a spring-breaker along with some of the other 79 celebrity competitors, albeit one in the throes of a midlife crisis.

Trump had married his third wife, Melania, the year before. At the time of the golf outing, Melania was at home with their four-month-old son Barron.

Several women would claim to get close to Trump that weekend.

Another adult film actress, Jessica Drake, would accuse the reality TV mogul of flirting with her on the golf course and kissing her without her consent.

Drake said she visited Trump’s room with two other women and that he was in pajamas when “he grabbed each of us tightly in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission” and grilled her about her work in the porn industry. Trump, according to Drake, called her later to offer her $10,000 for sex—an accusation he denies.

Like Drake, Daniels met the 60-year-old in the gift room at the Edgewood Tahoe. He grabbed her number and invited her to dinner that night. “I was like, ‘Yeah, of course!’ Who would pass up an opportunity to talk to someone so interesting?” Daniels told InTouch. “I wasn’t trying to date him or anything like that.”

For Daniels, then 27 years old, their meet-up, which ultimately took place at his Harrah’s penthouse suite, was more of a business move. “Whether you’re a fan of his or not, which I never really was, you gotta admit he’s pretty fascinating,” she continued.

Marcus Allen, Arthur Hervey and Charles Barkley

Marcus Allen, Arthur Hervey and Charles Barkley during American Century Golf Championship Party at Harrah's Casino and Vex Night Club - July 16, 2006 at Harrah's Casino and Vex Night Club in Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Michael Bezjian/Getty

It’s unlikely the other VIPs flocking to the Nevada resort—including Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, basketball legend Charles Barkley, ex-Broncos quarterback John Elway, actor Ray Romano, and TV personality Maury Povich—took note of the buxom blonde consorting with the Apprentice star.

The celebs had their eyes on the tourney’s $500,000 purse and savoring the nearby festivities at Harrah’s resort and casino, which hosted many of them.

At the time, the Reno Gazette-Journal elaborated on the bash’s luxuries: free back massages on the driving range and a glut of lobster. “We do all kinds of special stuff for our celebrities this week,” one Harrah’s Lake Tahoe director told the newspaper, adding this included nightly private parties and swag left in their rooms.

Cedric the Entertainer performed and Seinfeld actor John O’Hurley emceed an auction dinner, and at the next stop, a karaoke party in Harrah’s lounge, Barkley ordered 10 bottles of Patron and poured shots for dancers and revelers. The basketball great also reportedly took time to throw shade at Armstrong: “Nobody riding a bike can be considered great. Everybody can ride a bike. He’s in phenomenal shape, but he rides a bike.”

Stormy Daniels’ Description of Sex With Trump Is All Too Familiar for Sex Workers

Vegas chef Gustave Mauler—who previously worked with Trump and his buddy Steve Wynn’s casinos—prepared a feast at Edgewood that featured fresh hearts of palm flown in overnight from Hawaii, 75 pounds of fresh lobster and mini crab meat cheesecakes.

On the Friday of the event, John Mellencamp serenaded the stars but slammed President George W. Bush, saying, “This next one is for all the poor people who’ve been ignored by the current administration,” leading celebrity golfer and former vice president Dan Quayle to storm out of the venue. (Mellencamp, the L.A. Times reported, said he “certainly wouldn’t have changed a word” even if he’d known Quayle was there.)

Still, few golfers that weekend held the same pull as Trump, who wore a yellow polo and red hat and was photographed being trailed by young fans.

But NFL player Ben Roethlisberger, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer noted, appeared to outshine him at turns, especially in light of the news that he’d nearly died in a motorcycle crash a month before.

The Donald, who’d been hitting balls next to him, asked, “Are you going to be able to go full speed from the beginning?" to which Roethlisberger replied in the affirmative.

The Post-Intelligencer scribe hung around Trump, watching him “hit some good shots and more bad ones, while finding time to be interviewed, pose for photos with fans and schmooze with other rich people.” Trump, the columnist noted, was terse.

“So what was harder for you, turning 60 or fatherhood at 60?” the writer asked.

“Definitely turning 60,” Trump answered. “The concept of fatherhood I’ve handled well. But I see friends of mine who are 60 and I go (bleep)! Sixty! That’s getting up there, no question about it.”

Trump placed 62nd in the tournament, which ex-General Hospital actor Jack Wagner won, becoming the first non-athlete to take the championship title.

Perhaps the Apprentice tycoon, at the height of his celebrity powers with his NBC show, was a little distracted during the trip, instead focused on juggling carnal pursuits.

As Daniels tells it, she visited Trump’s room for their dinner date, first meeting his longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller, who showed her inside. She was dressed to go out, he was wearing pajama pants. “Ha, does Mr. Hefner know that you stole his outfit?” Daniels teased.

The duo ordered room service but no alcohol, and Trump asked her about her business and kept showing off his cover on a money magazine.

After a couple hours of conversation, Daniels used the restroom and came out to find Trump on the bed. He beckoned her over and they’d have what she called “textbook generic” sex.

“And I was like, ‘Ugh, here we go.’ And we started kissing,” Daniels told InTouch. “I actually don’t even know why I did it but I do remember while we were having sex, I was like, ‘Please don’t try to pay me.’ And then I remember thinking, ‘But I bet if he did, it would be a lot.’”

Daniels said their alleged romp was only in “one position, what you would expect someone his age to do.”

“It wasn’t bad,” she added. “Don’t get me wrong.”

But in her 2018 memoir Full Disclosure, the actress went into graphic detail about Trump’s “smaller than average” member—which she said left her unimpressed and reminded her of a Super Mario character.

Trump, Daniels wrote, “knows he has an unusual penis,” one with “a huge mushroom head. Like a toadstool.”

“I lay there, annoyed that I was getting fucked by a guy with Yeti pubes and a dick like the mushroom character in Mario Kart,” Daniels recalled.

“It may have been the least impressive sex I’d ever had, but clearly, he didn’t share that opinion.”

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