May 8, 2024


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Stormy alleges one-night stand with Trump, agreed to lie for her $130,000 payoff

If Stormy Daniels succeeded yesterday in convincing a jury that she had a one-night sexual encounter with Donald Trump, it was by delving into the details.

At the same time, she acknowledged that Trump did nothing to pressure her into having sex in 2006 and that she sought him out the following year. The porn star has never described their alleged one-nighter as anything other than consensual sex, though Trump insists it never happened.

That may not matter in a trial that ultimately turns on an allegation of falsified business records, but this does:

Daniels says that in exchange for a $130,000 payment – and there’s no factual dispute that Michael Cohen sent her the money – she signed a non-disclosure agreement that required her to lie.  

‘I could not tell my story, he could not tell his story. We had to pretend we didn’t know each other.’ And that, of course, is a serious ding to her credibility.

Even reporters in the Manhattan courthouse said it was hard to know how this was playing with the jurors. Stormy made jokes they didn’t laugh at, and spoke so quickly that she repeatedly had to be admonished to slow down, so the court reporter could keep up.

Here’s what Daniels said happened that fateful night:

They met briefly at a Lake Tahoe golf tournament; she was 27, making and directing X-rated films, and he was about 60. Daniels says she knew little about him and had never seen ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’

She saw him again at the gift shop, as documented by a photo that the world has seen a billion times.

Bodyguard Keith Schiller asked if she’d have dinner with Trump; she says she replied ‘F*** no.’ But Schiller got her cell number (he’s in her contacts) and asked again by text.

Daniels’ publicist urged her to go, in what I find the funniest line of the day: ‘What’s the worst thing that could happen?’

When she was taken to the penthouse, Trump was in silk pajamas. She says she told him to change.

Daniels described the room in detail, beautiful heavy furniture, in an attempt to prove she was there.

He asked about her family and how she got into adult movies. (Daniels testified earlier that ‘my mother was very neglectful, disappearing for days at a time.’)

Were there STD tests? She said she told Trump she’d never tested positive.

There was a very brief conversation about Melania: Trump said she was very beautiful, and added: ‘We don’t sleep in the same room.’

Stormy testified she snapped at Trump when he showed her a business magazine with him as the cover boy:

‘Are you always this rude? Are you always this arrogant and pompous? You don’t even know how to have a conversation.’ She looked at the magazine and said: ‘Someone should spank you with that.’

He played the ‘Apprentice’ card, saying she should come on his show. Stormy wasn’t buying it, saying NBC would never put on a porn star: ‘Even you don’t have that much power.’

She recalled Trump saying: ‘You remind me of my daughter, smart blonde and beautiful, people always underestimate her.’

Okay, enough small talk (there was two hours’ worth). 

Daniels crossed the bedroom to go to the bathroom, where she went through his toiletry bag.When Daniels came out, she testified, ‘he was on the bed, wearing boxers and a T-shirt.’

Here’s where it got dramatic: ‘I felt the room spin and blood leave my hands.’ How had she misread the situation? (Right, someone who is paid for sex had no idea?)

Stormy says she ‘blacked out,’ though she hadn’t been drugged.


‘There was an imbalance of power. He was bigger and blocking the way.’ But, ‘I was not threatened verbally or physically.’

Somehow she transitioned, after the blood leaving her hands, to saying ‘I had my clothes and my shoes off. I removed my bra.’ They were in the ‘missionary position.’ How does that square with her earlier freakout?

Judge Juan Merchan sustained the first of several defense objections to her description of the position. Daniels also said the action was brief, that he didn’t use a condom, and that she didn’t enjoy it.

More telling, in my view, is that the porn star stayed in touch with the man she says blocked her from leaving the room. She went to his launch of a vodka product the next spring, wanting to maintain a relationship because the possibility of an ‘Apprentice’ appearance was still in the air. 

She saw him again that summer in L.A., went to his hotel bungalow with her boyfriend stationed outside. ‘He kept trying to make sexual advances,’ putting his hand on her leg. She says she lied and claimed she was having her period.

Not shockingly, Trump later called, said he’d been overruled and couldn’t get her on the show.

A key moment, which Daniels has alleged before, is that an unknown man came up to her in a parking lot in 2011 and threatened her if she ever revealed the encounter with Trump. Of course, that makes the account impossible to fact-check.

In the final stretch of the 2016 campaign, Daniels was approached about the $130,000 payment, told that this way her husband would not find out. She kept saying she wasn’t interested in money, but was more than happy to take the six-figure deal.

When the Wall Street Journal exposed the hush money scheme in 2018, with no comment from Daniels, she says her life turned into ‘chaos’ and she was ‘ostracized.’

On cross-examination, the defense quickly scored points. Trump had called her ‘horseface.’ Did she ‘hate’ Trump? Yes. Does she want him to go to jail? If he’s convicted, ‘absolutely.’

Daniels lost a defamation suit she filed against the former president, but lost last year and was ordered to pay $120,000 and another $121,000 in attorneys’ fees. She vowed never to pay. 

In just a few minutes, given her harsh responses, the Trump defense painted her as an angry person with a sizable ax to grind against their client. 

The bottom line: Stormy Daniels said things that were both favorable and unfavorable to Donald Trump. Whether the jury views her as being candid or implying Trump was a predator may not matter much, except for the part about lying as part of the NDA for which Trump eventually reimbursed Michael Cohen for ‘legal expenses.’  

The Trump defense moved for a mistrial after the lunch break, saying the only reason for such prejudicial questions, ‘aside from pure embarrassment, is to inflame the jury.’

The judge, naturally, rejected the request, while agreeing there were some things that would have been ‘better left unsaid’ but the defense also shares responsibility.

Earlier, prosecutors called a Random House executive as a way of getting some of Trump’s book statements into the record. Some examples:

‘When somebody hurts you, just go after them as viciously and as violently as you can.’

‘All the women on ‘The Apprentice’ flirted with me.’

And this goes more to the core legal charge:  

‘When you sign a check yourself, you’re seeing what’s really going on inside your business. If people see your signature at the bottom of the check… they screw you less.’

That is, screw in the business sense.

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