Stormy Daniels — normally quick-witted and confident — described being scared, ashamed, and shaking after her night with Trump (2024)

The world is used to Stormy Daniels presenting herself confidently — proudly sharing in a book, on podcasts, and in a documentary the nitty-gritty of the sexual encounter she says she had with Donald Trump in 2006.

On Tuesday, the jury in the former president's hush-money trial saw a different side of her.

Daniels, on the witness stand, described feeling scared and ashamed after her night with Trump.

On Tuesday, the archenemies Trump and Daniels — with a felony conviction at stake — faced each other for the first time in a decade.

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"My name is Stormy Daniels," the p*rn star at the center of the historic trial said as she swore to tell the truth while at the witness stand of a Manhattan courtroom, just 20 feet from Trump.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, wore black-rimmed glasses, an all-black, loose-fitting shirt, and a sweater as she took the witness stand. Trump sat at the defense table, his posture slightly slumped. He looked down at the defense table, not at Daniels, as she began her testimony.

As he passed by pews of journalists in the courtroom, leaving and entering during breaks, Trump wore a scowl on his face.

Under questioning from Susan Hoffinger, a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney's office, Daniels quickly moved her testimony to July 2006, when she said she met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe and, later that night, wound up in the then-"Apprentice" star's penthouse hotel suite after accepting a dinner invitation.

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It was in that hotel suite where Daniels testified that she and Trump had sex — an allegation Trump vehemently denies.

Speaking at a rapid clip, Daniels told the jury Trump greeted her at the door wearing "satin or silk" pajamas and that she immediately cracked a Hugh Hefner joke and asked him to change.

While they chatted in his hotel room, Trump expressed interest in how Daniels "segued from being a p*rn star to writing and directing."

At one point, Trump raised the idea of Daniels appearing on his hit reality TV show, "The Apprentice," Daniels testified, adding that she told Trump there was no way NBC would let her on TV.

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"You remind me of my daughter," Daniels recalled Trump telling her. "You're blond and beautiful, and people love seeing them on TV as well."

Trump told Daniels he could help rig the show in her favor "to make sure that you would make a good showing," Daniels said.

Daniels also told the jury that Trump's wife, the former first lady Melania Trump, came up during their conversation.

"He said, 'Oh, don't worry about that. We don't even sleep in the same room,'" Daniels testified.

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After a trip to the bathroom — where Daniels said she observed Trump's "gold tweezers" — she saw Trump sitting on the bed wearing only his boxer shorts and a T-shirt, she said.

"I felt the blood basically leave my hands and my feet," Daniels told the jury. "I just thought, 'Oh, my God, what did I misread to get there.' The intention was pretty clear."

She added: "The next thing I know, I was on the bed. I had my clothes and my shoes off."

Trump appeared furious during Daniels's testimony. When she began talking about what she said was a sexual encounter, he was "cursing audibly," Juan Merchan, the presiding judge, later said at a private sidebar conference.

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The judge threatened to hold Trump in contempt of court again, saying his comments could amount to threatening Daniels in front of jurors.

Merchan blocked some graphic testimony from entering the court record. When Daniels uttered the words "missionary position," Trump's attorneys objected, and the judge sustained the objection.

Daniels testified Trump did not wear a condom during the encounter and that it concerned her but that she "didn't say anything at all."

She recalled getting dressed again with some difficulty.

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It was completely dark, she said, and she had trouble putting her strappy shoes back on.

"It was hard to get my shoes on because my hands were shaking so hard," she said.

Afterward, she testified, Trump told her they'd have to get together again soon, brought up "The Apprentice," and kissed her goodbye.

"I just wanted to leave," she said.

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Daniels told "scores" of people about having dinner with Trump in his hotel suite, she said. But she said she kept the details about the sex to a smaller circle of close friends.

"I told very few people that we had sex because I felt very ashamed that I didn't stop it and I didn't say no," she testified Tuesday.

Stormy Daniels — normally quick-witted and confident — described being scared, ashamed, and shaking after her night with Trump (1)

'He threatened me to continue to not to tell my story'

Trump and Daniels kept in touch after their evening in Tahoe, she testified. Trump called her about once a week, giving updates — or a lack thereof — of getting her as a guest on "The Apprentice."

He often called while she was on set directing adult movies, Daniels testified, and she put him on speaker for everyone to hear.

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They met in person again several times. At one event, in Los Angeles, Trump greeted Daniels with a kiss and introduced her to his "friend" Karen, she testified.

Daniels said she later learned it was Karen McDougal, the former Playboy bunny who has also said she had an affair with Trump.

In some of their meetings, Trump indicated he wanted to have sex with her again, Daniels said. She made excuses, she added.

"I told him I was on my period," she said about one meeting at a hotel in Los Angeles, where she said Trump was watching a documentary about sharks.

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In January 2008, Trump called and told Daniels he couldn't persuade the higher-ups at NBC to get her on "The Apprentice," Daniels testified. She said she believed Trump would think she was upset because Jenna Jameson, another adult film actor, had made an appearance on the show.

"He thought I was going to be mad," Daniels said. "I didn't care."

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From that point, Daniels put Trump out of her mind, she said. Life was "pretty awesome," she testified. She got a raise, directed more adult movies, snagged a few parts in "mainstream" films, had a daughter, and "became a nationally ranked equestrian with my horses," she said.

Things took a turn in 2011, when Gina Rodriguez, her agent, contacted her and said the gossip publication In Touch would publish a story about the affair with Trump, Daniels testified.

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Rodriguez encouraged Daniels to do an interview with the publication and "control the narrative" — as well as get $15,000 from In Touch for it, Daniels said.

"I tried to keep it very lighthearted and quick and to the point," she said.

The story was never published. Daniels said she didn't know why at the time.

Soon afterward, in Las Vegas, Daniels was headed to a "mommy-and-me workout" with her daughter, she said.

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She was approached by a man in the parking lot who warned her about discussing her "encounter with Mr. Trump," Daniels said.

"He threatened me to continue to not to tell my story," she testified of the man.

Daniels said she harbored that fear for years.

In 2015, when Trump ran for president — and after the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape — Rodriguez told her that she could sell the rights to her story to Michael Cohen, Trump's attorney and "fixer" at the time, and Trump for $130,000, she said.

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Daniels didn't even try to negotiate the money, she said.

"Didn't care. Didn't care about money. Just wanted to get it done," she said.

Trump's legal team asked for a mistrial based on Daniels's testimony, telling New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan that some of her remarks — particularly about her perceived safety concerns after the encounter with Trump — were "extremely prejudicial."

Merchan denied the mistrial motion, though acknowledged that Daniels was "difficult to control" on the stand.

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When the Wall Street Journal published a story in 2018 about the hush-money arrangement, Daniels's life was thrown into "chaos," she testified. Strangers showed up on her front lawn. Her daughter was ostracized from playgroups, she said. Her lawyer, Keith Davidson, put out misleading statements on her behalf denying "rumors" of her sleeping with Trump, but Daniels testified she signed them without taking any role in actually crafting what they said.

Later that year, Trump — through Cohen — said he would no longer enforce the non-disclosure agreement that Daniels had signed. She was free to speak. She said she made up with Cohen, accepting an apology from him on his "Mea Culpa" podcast.

She hired Michael Avenatti — the disgraced and now-former lawyer who is serving a prison sentence for defrauding clients — who filed a failed defamation lawsuit against Trump.

After a series of court decisions, Daniels remains on the hook for more than $500,000 she owes Trump in legal fees over the fiasco.

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Under combative cross-examination by Trump's lawyer Susan Necheles, Daniels tried to beat back the attorney's suggestion that she was only telling her story about sex with Trump for financial gain.

She sat with her right shoulder raised to Necheles, defending herself and looking over, like a boxer ready to throw an uppercut.

"That story has made you a lot of money, right?" Necheles asked.

"It also cost me a lot of money," Daniels fired back.

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Stormy Daniels — normally quick-witted and confident — described being scared, ashamed, and shaking after her night with Trump (2)

Trump fumed when he heard Stormy would testify

Daniels — and the $130,000 hush-money payment that purchased her silence just 11 days before the 2016 election — is the reason Trump has been on trial in Manhattan since mid-April.

Prosecutors for Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, say that Trump falsified 34 Trump Organization business documents throughout 2017, including in his first week in office, when they say he reimbursed Cohen for paying Daniels the hush money.

The business records — shown to jurors Monday for the first time — disguised Cohen's reimbursem*nt checks as "legal fees," hiding what prosecutors say was actually an illegal conspiracy to influence the 2016 election.

Daniels is an adult-entertainment entrepreneur who has capitalized on her connection to Trump, writing a book, participating in a controversial documentary (she testified Tuesday she got $100,000 for participating), and embarking on a "Make America Horny Again" tour of strip clubs.

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She told the court Tuesday that she moved out of her family home in high school because she had trouble living with her mother and started stripping for money.

Daniels told the jury she directed her first adult film at 23.

"I was one of the youngest, if not the youngest, adult-feature directors," she said.

When she first met Trump at the Lake Tahoe celebrity golf tournament, she told the jury, he quickly complimented her.

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"Oh, you actually direct, too? You must be very smart," Daniels recalled Trump telling her.

Stormy Daniels — normally quick-witted and confident — described being scared, ashamed, and shaking after her night with Trump (3)

In a now-deleted post from early Tuesday morning on Trump's social media platform, Truth Social, the former president fumed after he apparently found out Daniels would take the witness stand later that day.

"I have just recently been told who the witness is today. This is unprecedented, no time for lawyers to prepare," Trump's 7:30 a.m. post said, adding: "No judge has ever run a trial in such a biased and partisan way."

Before the jury was called in Tuesday, attorneys for Trump objected to Daniels "testifying about any sexual act."

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"We're informed the witness today, the second witness, will be Stormy Daniels," Necheles told Merchan, adding that testimony about any sexual act would be "unduly prejudicial."

Hoffinger, one of the prosecutors, said there would be details in Daniels' testimony about how the p*rn star "ended up having a sexual encounter" with Trump.

"In terms of the sexual act, it's going to be very basic," she added. "It's not going to be descriptions of genitalia or anything of that nature."

Still, Necheles said, "There's just no need for any of those details here."

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Necheles added of Daniels: "There's real questions about the credibility of this woman. This is a case about books and records."

Merchan said Daniels had "credibility issues" but that he was "satisfied with the representations that Ms. Hoffinger has made."

This story has been updated.

Stormy Daniels — normally quick-witted and confident — described being scared, ashamed, and shaking after her night with Trump (2024)

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