Stormy Daniels describes alleged Trump affair in blockbuster hush money trial testimony

New York, New York - Stormy Daniels, the porn star at the heart of Donald Trump's hush money case, took the witness stand on Tuesday, in one of the trial's most dramatic moments yet.

Stormy Daniels surprisingly took the stand to testify in Donald Trump's hush money trial on Tuesday.
Stormy Daniels surprisingly took the stand to testify in Donald Trump's hush money trial on Tuesday.  © ROBYN BECK, CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

"The people call Stormy Daniels," prosecutor Susan Hoffinger announced as the 77-year-old Trump sat at the defense table in the Manhattan courtroom flanked by his lawyers.

It was a pivotal moment in the courtroom drama rocking the scandal-plagued Republican's attempt to recapture the White House.

Prosecutors say that Trump – desperate to kill the story of an alleged affair with Daniels before it could wreck his chances in the narrow 2016 race – illegally reimbursed his fixer and lawyer, Michael Cohen, to cover up the $130,000 hush money payment.

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Trump denies ever having sex with Daniels and Susan Necheles, a lawyer for the former president, lodged an objection with the judge presiding over the trial to allowing her to testify about any "sexual acts."

"It is unduly prejudicial," Necheles told Judge Juan Merchan.

Hoffinger said Daniels' testimony would not be graphic and would "omit details that are too salacious," but Daniels testimony – which took the jury through her interactions with Trump over the years – inevitably touched on some X-rated topics.

Daniels describes infamous hotel encounter with Trump

Daniels described her alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump in his hotel room.
Daniels described her alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump in his hotel room.  © REUTERS

After giving a short of history of her career, Daniels spoke about first meeting Trump at a golf tournament in 2006, when she was just 27 and the real estate mogul was "as old or older" than her father.

Despite initially refusing a dinner invitation, she eventually agreed to meet with Trump at his hotel after being convinced by her publicist.

Following strict instructions from Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller, Daniels said she arrived to find her host wearing satin pajamas, which she asked him to changed out of.

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After talking about her family and experiences in the porn industry – a subject that included Daniels assuring Trump that she had never caught an STD – the actor said the then-60-year-old was lying on the bed in his underwear when she returned from a trip to the bathroom. That led to a sexual encounter described briefly as "in missionary position" and during which Trump allegedly didn't wear a condom.

Despite feeling an "imbalance of power" in the situation, Daniels said she had not felt threatened at any point, though she added, per CNN: "I told very few people that we had actually had sex because I felt ashamed that I didn’t stop it."

The two spoke and met several times over the next year, with Daniels claiming that she was always promised career opportunities and favors that ultimately never materialized.

Trump rages ahead of Daniels' testimony

Trump, who has already been held in contempt of court for his constant violations of a gag order imposed by the presiding judge, complained about Daniels testimony before she took the stand.
Trump, who has already been held in contempt of court for his constant violations of a gag order imposed by the presiding judge, complained about Daniels testimony before she took the stand.  © Win McNamee / POOL / AFP

It was first time that Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, came face to face in the trial with the ex-president who has spent years insulting her, including while serving in the White House.

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

But in a post early Tuesday on his Truth Social app, which was then quickly deleted, Trump angrily complained that he had "just recently been told who the witness is today."

"This is unprecedented, no time for lawyers to prepare," he claimed, going on to describe the judge as "CROOKED & HIGHLY CONFLICTED."

Cover photo: ROBYN BECK, CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP

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