Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, alleged an affair with former President Donald Trump, sparking legal battles and media scrutiny.


Donald Trump is on trial over charges stemming from a hush-money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

He is the first former US president to stand criminal trial – in a case that centres on him allegedly falsifying business records to conceal the payment.

Ms Daniels shared the details of their alleged sexual encounter in court while Mr Trump sat several feet away.

She claims she and Mr Trump had sex, and that she accepted $130,000 (£104,000) from his former lawyer before the 2016 election in exchange for her silence about the encounter.

The lawyer, Michael Cohen, was later jailed on multiple charges.

Since the allegations surfaced in 2018, the former president has denied any sexual involvement with Ms Daniels.

Who is Stormy Daniels?

Ms Daniels, 45, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is a Louisiana-born adult film star and director who has won multiple awards for her movie work.

In addition, she made appearances in mainstream Hollywood films, including 2000s comedies The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up.

She also dabbled in politics and previously declared herself to be a Republican – the same party as Mr Trump.

Daniels’ affair claim

The former adult-film star took the stand for several days of tense testimony where she shared salacious details about the alleged sexual encounter and what led to the hush-money payment.

At first appearing nervous and speaking so quickly that she was asked to slow down, Ms Daniels testified about her first encounter with Mr Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in July 2006.

He asked her to join him for a meal, she recounted, adding that she did not want to accept the invitation but her publicist encouraged her to go.

Mr Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, was not at the tournament and had just given birth.

She then recalled arriving at Mr Trump’s suite for dinner at Lake Tahoe, a resort area between California and Nevada. She testified that he met her at the door wearing silk pyjamas.

Ms Daniels recounted how she went to the bathroom and when she came out, Mr Trump was lying in bed wearing only boxer shorts and a t-shirt. They had sex with consent, she testified, but said the encounter left her disoriented.

The details, which she has previously shared, included her claim that they did not use a condom and that she spanked Mr Trump with a magazine. This led to several unsuccessful mistrial motions from Mr Trump’s legal team.

Justice Juan Merchan acknowledged “there were some things that would have been better left unsaid”, sending a warning to prosecutors to not ask specifics of such a personal nature.

Mr Trump’s lawyer Susan Necheles led a tough cross-examination to undermine Ms Daniels’ recounting of the encounter, leading the two women to practically yell at each other.

Ms Necheles implied Ms Daniels made up the alleged sexual encounter and accused her of lying about eating dinner at the hotel suite.

“You’re trying to trick me into saying something that’s not entirely true,” Ms Daniels replied.

Threats and payments to stay silent

Ms Daniels says Mr Cohen paid her $130,000 in “hush-money” to keep her quiet about the affair, just ahead of the 2016 election – an election won by Mr Trump.

She says she took it because she was concerned for the safety of her family. Ms Daniels said she was legally and physically threatened to stay silent.

In 2018, Ms Daniels recalled how an unknown man had approached her and her infant daughter in a Las Vegas parking lot seven years earlier and told her to “leave Trump alone”.

She said this happened shortly after she agreed to give an interview to In Touch magazine about the alleged affair.

“That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom,”

Before the episode aired, a shell company linked to Mr Cohen threatened Ms Daniels with a $20m lawsuit, arguing she had broken their non-disclosure deal (NDA), or “hush agreement”.

Ms Daniels told the CBS show she was risking a million-dollar fine by speaking on national television, but “it was very important to me to be able to defend myself”.

Her interview with In Touch would not be published in full until 2018, three months before the 60 Minutes episode.

Is it illegal to pay hush-money?

It is not illegal to pay someone compensation in exchange for an NDA.

But prosecutors have focused on how Mr Cohen’s reimbursement was recorded in Mr Trump’s accounts. He is accused of falsifying his business records by categorising the payment as for legal fees.

The wire transfer came mere days before the presidential election. District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleges that Mr Trump tried “to conceal crimes that hid damaging information from the voting public”.

In August 2018, Mr Cohen was imprisoned after pleading guilty to tax evasion and breaking campaign finance rules, in part related to his payment to Ms Daniels and another alleged Trump lover.

Although he initially said that Mr Trump had nothing to do with the payments, Mr Cohen later testified under oath that Mr Trump had directed him to make the $130,000 hush-payment.

He also said the president had reimbursed him.

What has Trump said?

Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan criminal court to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

He was indicted in relation to payments made to Ms Daniels. He is also under investigation in relation to pay-offs to a former Playboy model to keep quiet about her alleged sexual encounters with him.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Enable Google Transliteration.(To type in English, press Ctrl+g)