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Who Is Stormy Daniels, Porn Star At Center Of Trump’s Criminal Conviction? – NDTV

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Stormy Daniels testified in vivid detail about her alleged encounter with Trump in a hotel in Navada.

New York:

Adult film star Stormy Daniels says Donald Trump told her in 2006 that having sex with him was the only way she would get out of the “trailer park.” Nearly two decades later, she testified against Trump as a crucial witness for the prosecutors who won the first-ever criminal conviction of a former U.S. president.

A Manhattan jury on Thursday found Trump, 77, guilty of covering up his reimbursement to former lawyer Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payment to Daniels to buy her silence before the 2016 election about the alleged sexual encounter, which took place while he was married to his third wife, Melania.

Trump, the Republican challenger to Democratic President Joe Biden in the Nov. 5 election, had pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up the payment, and denies the encounter.

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Daniels, 45, was sharp-witted and confident on cross-examination in response to probing questions designed to undermine her credibility. At one point, defense lawyer Susan Necheles sought to draw a parallel between her work writing and directing porn films and her story of the encounter with Trump.

“If that story was untrue, I would have written it to be a lot better,” Daniels replied.

Daniels testified in vivid detail about her alleged encounter with Trump in a hotel penthouse in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where the two met at a celebrity golf tournament. She said Trump invited her to his hotel suite for dinner, and during their conversation he suggested she appear on his reality television show, “The Apprentice.” She said she went to the bathroom at one point, and emerged to find Trump on the bed in his boxer shorts.

“He said … ‘I thought you were serious about what you wanted. If you ever want to get out of that trailer park,'” Daniels recounted.

She said she “blacked out” and did not remember how she got into bed with her clothes off, but emphasized that she had not consumed any drugs or alcohol. She made it clear she did not enjoy the sex that followed – but also did not turn down Trump’s advances.

“I was trying to think about anything other than what was happening there,” she said.

TOP STUDENT, EXOTIC DANCER

Daniels, whose given name is Stephanie Clifford, testified that she grew up with a single, neglectful mother in Louisiana on a low income. She said she graduated in the top 10% of her high school class, edited the school newspaper, and was accepted to a university in Texas to study veterinary medicine, but could not afford to attend.

She said she was working as an exotic dancer on the weekends at the age of 17 to support herself, and later moved on to nude modeling and adult films. She said she became one of the youngest female porn directors, won many industry awards, and has landed roles in TV shows and films such as “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up.”

The year after the payoff, Daniels testified, was the best of her life; she was writing and directing successful films, riding horses, and raising her daughter to be a straight-A student. But she said her life turned into “chaos” when the Wall Street Journal in 2018 published an article revealing the alleged tryst and payoff.

“It blew my cover,” she told prosecutor Susan Hoffinger. “We were ostracized from her playgroups, from the riding stable.”

Trump’s lawyers sought to portray Daniels as having benefited from the publicity that resulted from the story of the alleged encounter, part of an effort to lay the groundwork to argue that she lied to make money. They displayed for jurors merchandise on her website, including a candle with her picture reading “Stormy, Saint of Indictments,” and showed jurors posters from the “Make America Horny Again” strip club tour she went on after news of the alleged encounter broke.

Despite the lurid details, Necheles sought to highlight that Daniels’ testimony was ultimately tangential to the case.

When the defense attorney asked Daniels whether she knew about the business records at the heart of the case, Daniels replied, “I know nothing about his business records, no. Why would I?”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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