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Stormy Daniels stands up for herself under sharp cross-examination at Trump hush money trial

Stormy Daniels testifies on the witness stand as a promotional image for one of her shows featuring an image of Trump is displayed on monitors in Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
Stormy Daniels testifies on the witness stand as a promotional image for one of her shows featuring an image of Trump is displayed on monitors in Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
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Donald Trump’s attorney Susan Necheles laced into Stormy Daniels as she attempted to shoot down her story of the alleged sordid sexual encounter with the former president — but the porn star held her own during the tense hourslong cross-examination Thursday.

Necheles aggressively , taking a slightly derogatory tone as she about her work in porn with “naked women and naked men” and insinuated that she was less credible because of her work in the adult film industry  

“You were selling yourself,” Necheles accused, in reference to Daniels’ “” tour in 2018.

Defense attorney Susan Necheles, center, cross examines Stormy Daniels, far right, as former President Donald Trump, far left, and his attorney Emil Bove look on in Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
Defense attorney Susan Necheles, center, cross examines Stormy Daniels, far right, as former President Donald Trump, far left, and his attorney Emil Bove look on in Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Daniels, 45, was steely and confident from her perch on the witness stand, staring directly at Necheles as she answered questions. If she felt nervous, she didn’t show it much — wavering only in brief pauses in testimony when lawyers conferred with the judge on the side. Then, she wiped her glasses, fixed her hair, and stuck her tongue in her cheek at one point.

Trump has long denied having sex with Daniels, who’s said they had a sexual encounter in 2006 after she accepted a dinner invitation from the then-future president.

Daniels testified on Tuesday that she and Trump spoke at his hotel room for a couple hours. When she reentered the room from the bathroom, she found him stripped down to his boxers and a t-shirt and “felt the room spin.”

Regardless of who’s telling the truth, it’s not a matter central to the legal charges.

“You’ve acted and had sex in over 200 porn movies, right?” Necheles asked on Thursday afternoon.

“Around 150, yes,” Daniels, on her second day of testimony, replied.

“All that, but according to you, seeing a man on a bed in a t-shirt and boxer shorts was so upsetting that you got light-headed, the blood left your hands and feet, and you almost fainted?” the lawyer asked — seeming to imply that because she had a lot of sex as a porn star, her alleged shock upon seeing Trump stripped down was hard to believe.

The jury of seven men and five women did not look amused by this line of questioning — especially the women.

Necheles repeatedly probed Daniels’ account, at one point asking her if she has “a lot of experience making up phony sex stories,” as a writer and director of adult films.

“Wow,” Daniels said, sounding insulted. “That’s not how I would put it. The sex in the films is very much real — just like what happened in that room with Trump.”

Necheles pushed further, asking if Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, had “experience in writing these stories and memorizing them.”

“If this story wasn’t true, I would have written it to be a lot better,” Daniels quipped back.

Necheles asked whether this was the first time someone had made a pass at her.

 “No, but it is the first time they had a bodyguard standing outside the door … and were in their underwear and were twice my age,” the adult film star retorted, recalling the moment she emerged from the bathroom to find Trump sitting on his bed.

She later said her “own insecurities” kept her from refusing to have sex, after Necheles pointedly asked why she did not then “speak up and say you didn’t want to have sex with him.”

and crossed his arms at this point.

Former President Donald Trump, right, and his attorney Emil Bove watch a video screen of Stormy Daniels testifying in Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
Former President Donald Trump, right, and his attorney Emil Bove watch a video screen of Stormy Daniels testifying in Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 9, 2024, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

The presumptive Republican frontrunner has been of falsifying business records for covering up buying Daniels’ silence on their tryst, which the porn star says occurred at a Lake Tahoe golf tournament. 

 

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