Stormy Daniels denies cashing in on claimed tryst with Trump

Stormy Daniels denies cashing in on claimed tryst with Trump
Stormy Daniels denies cashing in on claimed tryst with Trump

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Former US President Donald Trump watches as HarperCollins Vice President Tracey Menzies testifies during his criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in Manhattan state court in New York May 9, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, May 10 — Stormy Daniels finished her marathon testimony at Donald Trump’s hush money trial yesterday with attorneys for the former president seeking to paint her as a greedy liar who profited from her allegations.

The X-rated film actress, who claims to have had sex with the married Trump in 2006, denied that she threatened the tycoon if he did not buy her silence.

“I wanted the truth to come out... to get my story protected with a paper trail so that my family didn’t get hurt,” the 45-year-old Daniels said during aggressive cross-examination by Trump’s attorney Susan Necheles.

Trump, 77, is accused of falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for a US$130,000 payment to Daniels on the eve of the 2016 presidential election, when the story could have proved politically fatal.

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The face-off between Daniels and Trump took place six months before the November election, when the Republican hopeful will try to defeat Democratic President Joe Biden.

‘I hated it’

During nearly eight hours of testimony over Tuesday and Thursday, Daniels walked the New York jury through the one-night stand she said she had with Trump at a celebrity golf tournament, and then the financial settlement that she says ensued.

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Yesterday, Trump’s lawyers sought to suggest that Daniels was out for the money, cashing in on her story in a book for which the defence claimed she received US$800,000.

They accused her of appearing at strip club events promoted with a picture of Trump and the tagline “Making America Horny Again.”

“I never used that tagline — I hated it,” said Daniels who wore green dress and a long, hooded black cardigan.

In her testimony Tuesday, she described Trump’s pajamas, his boxer shorts, the sexual position and that he did not wear a condom.

And while she was “not threatened verbally or physically” she said she “felt ashamed I didn’t stop it, didn’t say no.”

Trump has denied having sex with Daniels and his lawyers on Tuesday asked the judge for a mistrial on the grounds her testimony was “extremely prejudicial” in what is essentially a financial records and election-related case.

Judge Juan Merchan denied the mistrial request, and second one lodged yesterday.

The jury also heard from a publisher at Harper Collins books, which handled Trump’s “Think Big and Kick Ass,” a bookkeeper in the Trump Organisation Rebecca Manochio and former aide Madeleine Westerhout who said Trump would dictate tweets to her.

‘Frankenstein case’

Speaking to reporters on his way into court yesterday, Trump called it a “Frankenstein case.”

“It’s not a recognisable crime that any of us have seen,” he said.

Merchan has imposed a gag order on Trump prohibiting him from publicly attacking witnesses and the ex-president — who has traded insults with Daniels for years, calling her “horseface” and other crude slurs — has not yet commented directly on her testimony.

Trump said yesterday that his side had filed an appeal against the gag order in an appellate court.

His lawyer also demanded that Trump be allowed to hit back publicly at Daniels’ claims about their encounter now she was no longer a witness.

“This isn’t just the same story that has been going around for the past several years. it’s much different,” said the lawyer, Todd Blanche.

Judge Merchan denied his request to change the gag order, which Trump has been fined US$10,000 for breaking.

During the cross-examination yesterday, Daniels accused Necheles of trying to trick her into misspeaking.

“You have a lot of experience in making phony stories about sex appear to be real,” Necheles said, noting that Daniels had directed and starred in over 150 adult films.

“If that story (about Trump) was untrue I would’ve written it to be a lot better,” Daniels retorted. “I didn’t have to write this one.”

In addition to the New York case, Trump has been indicted in Washington and Georgia on charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

He has also been charged in Florida with allegedly mishandling classified documents after leaving the White House but that case has been postponed indefinitely. — AFP

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