Stormy Relives Sex With Trump—and He Gets Desperate

Drew Angerer/Getty
Drew Angerer/Getty

She walked in wearing all black and a long flowing hooded sweater—her thick-heeled boots clacking on her way into the courtroom—a porn star turned political lightning rod ready to deliver damning testimony that could electrify the prosecution of Donald Trump and toss his 2024 presidential campaign into a maelstrom.

Stormy Daniels had finally arrived, and she was ready to talk about her fateful fling with Trump in 2006 and the $130,000 in hush money she was paid.

She did not shy away from the nitty-gritty.

“He was just up on the bed, like this,” she said, leaning back in her chair and raising her bare right leg above the wooden panels that line the witness box.

“The next thing I know, I’m on the bed, somehow on the opposite side of the bed… I had my clothes and my shoes off, I believe my bra however was still on. We were in the missionary position—” she started.

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles said “objection.” And Justice Juan Merchan, a stoic who maintains a conservative demeanor, was quick to halt the porn star from going into too many details and responded “sustained” at almost the same time.

The former president’s legal team pushed for a mistrial, saying that Daniels’ testimony was too graphic.

Merchan said he agreed the testimony had gone into “too much detail.”

“Having said that,” he continued, “I don’t think we have reached the point where a mistrial is in order.”

Tuesday was the 13th day of the former president’s ongoing criminal trial in New York City, which is now in its fourth week. It took that long to put together a jury, have lawyers deliver opposing versions of the story about him paying off an adult film star to keep her quiet about a sexual affair, and have prosecutors present the boring documents that detailed the cover-up.

But the trial has finally moved into the star witness phase, with Daniels taking the stand and describing her private life in Florida and differentiating her stage name from her legal one, Stephanie Clifford.

She described being raised in Christian, conservative Louisiana by a single mom in a “very low-income” household, then briefly studying veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University. In her first few minutes on the stand, prosecutors had her detail her childhood, her love of horseback riding, and had her mostly introduce herself to the jury.

“And then later I went on to dancing,” she said, recalling being short on cash but talented at ballet and tap. It paid better “than shoveling manure eight hours a day.”

Trump Plan to Limit Stormy Daniels’ Juicy Details Goes Sour

Daniels prefers the director title now but still actively performs on camera—most recently with names that seem ironically relevant: Axe2Grind, Blast From the Past, and Redemption.

In court, she leaned back while she spoke—her pose belying her anxiety, which came out in her voice. She spoke quickly and her voice shook slightly, never admitting to being nervous but speeding through her testimony and apologizing when a court stenographer asked her to slow down.

Daniels ditched the over-the-top glamour she sports on DVD covers and strip clubs and opted instead for a conservative outfit in court, seemingly dressed for a funeral: no makeup, no flair, and wearing her long blond hair in a messy ponytail with untucked locks dropping on both sides of her dark glasses.

Trump, who wore a navy blue suit and canary yellow tie, remained seated at the defense table whispering with his lawyer Todd Blanche as she spoke.

Jurors remained transfixed by her presence, with a few occasionally taking notes but immediately returning their gaze to the porn star who raced through her testimony with such fast-paced speech that the judge eventually had to ask her to take it easy.

Her testimony answering Manhattan DA investigation division chief Susan Hoffinger’s questions maintained its conversational tone, even when they started discussing her one-night stand on July 13, 2006, during a charity event at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on the Nevada state line with California.

Daniels recalled how a chance encounter on the golf course led Trump’s bodyguard to arrange a dinner between the porn star and the billionaire—a meetup that never left his palatial penthouse suite, where Trump queried her about the adult film industry and made clear his intentions.

“Oh, what about your wife?” Daniels recalled asking him about Melania, who has yet to show up at this trial.

“Oh, don’t worry about that. We don’t sleep in the same room,” she remembered him responding.

Everything You Need to Know About Stormy Daniels

Upon hearing those words, Trump sat motionless in his maroon courtroom chair, his head leaning awkwardly to the right.

But she spoke so fast that most jurors seemed to miss—or ignored—what served as a punchline in her 2018 book: being so tired of hearing Trump speak about himself that she rolled up a magazine he boastfully showed her that featured him on the cover and spanked him with it.

“At this point I’d pretty much had enough of his arrogance... I was pretty nasty. I snapped. And I said, ‘Someone should spank you with that,’” Daniels said, as one juror smiled from ear to ear.

During a mid-morning break, Trump exited the courtroom with a look of muted frustration on his face. He eschewed his occasional smirk to reporters in the pews and instead made a tight lipped forced smile as he neared the doors.

Earlier in the day, Trump complained on Truth Social that he didn’t even know she would testify until Tuesday morning, before then rushing to delete his post. However, the move to erase his remarks was as asinine as it was paradoxical. New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan has already fined Trump $10,000 and threatened to jail him for repeatedly violating a gag order forbidding him from speaking publicly about witnesses and jurors, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office specifically adopted the policy of giving him a minimal heads-up to limit the damage he could do by engaging in his signature menacing rhetoric to whip up his raging MAGA followers. It makes even less sense, then, that Trump would whine about the situation by very nearly crossing the very line that led to those limits in the first place.

When court picked up again in the afternoon, Trump lawyer Todd Blanche launched an unexpected Hail Mary play by asking for a mistrial. He cited the way Daniels claimed to have been approached by a stranger in 2011 who threatened her to stay quiet about her affair with Trump while she was in a parking lot with her newborn—an episode she alleges in her 2018 memoir.

“How can we come back to this in a way that's fair to President Trump?” Blanche said, complaining that the act of sharing her story was “extraordinarily prejudicial” and meant only “to inflame this jury.”

Blanche says no one can now “unring the bell” after taking the bold step “to insert safety concerns in a trial about business records.” Hoffinger countered that “her account is highly probative of his intent,” pointing to Trump’s desire to keep her silent.

The judge cleared his throat and acknowledged that “there are some things that would have been better left unsaid.”

But then he turned the heat right back on Trump’s team, criticizing the former president’s lawyers for not doing their job and forcing him to jump in for them at one point.

“I will also note that I was surprised there were not more objections at various times in the testimony. At one point, the court sua sponte objected because there was no objection coming from the defense,” he said. “When you say 'the bell has been rung,' defense has to take some responsibility for that.”

Trump leaned to his left and grumbled angrily to Blanche, slumping in his leather courtroom chair.

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