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25 June, 2024
 
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Porn star Stormy Daniels speaks out on Trump encounter in court

Trump trial: Stormy Daniels recounts 'sexual encounter' under oath

Porn star Stormy Daniels has described to jurors an awkward and unexpected sexual encounter she claims she had with Donald Trump in 2006.

Ms Daniels was testifying at the former president's criminal trial over hush money she was paid to keep silent about the alleged encounter during the presidential race.

But it was not all bad news for Mr Trump. On the day the court heard from Ms Daniels, his trial in Florida on charges of illegally keeping classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence after leaving office, scheduled to start on 20 May, was postponed indefinitely by a federal judge.

Ms Daniels, 45, speaking at the "hush money" trial, said she tried not to think about having sex with him while it was allegedly taking place.

Mr Trump, 77, stared straight ahead when she entered the courtroom and occasionally shook his head and whispered to his lawyer.

After the lunch break, Mr Trump's defence lawyers demanded a mistrial over what they said were prejudicial and irrelevant comments.

The judge rejected the defence's request and said defence lawyers should have raised more objections during the testimony.

Later in the day, the Trump team used its opportunity to question Ms Daniels to paint her as motivated by personal hatred of the former president and hoping to profit off her claims against him.

"Am I correct that you hate President Trump?" defence lawyer Susan Necheles asked.

"Yes," Ms Daniels acknowledged.

In the final weeks of Mr Trump's 2016 Republican presidential campaign, his then-lawyer and personal fixer Michael Cohen paid Ms Daniels $130,000 (£103,000) to keep quiet about what she described as an awkward and unexpected sexual encounter with Mr Trump at a celebrity golf outing in Lake Tahoe in July 2006.

Mr Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in 2018 related to the payments and served more than a year in prison - with federal prosecutors saying he acted at Mr Trump's direction.

Mr Trump, the Republican candidate for president again this year, has pleaded not guilty to charges of falsifying business records to cover up the payment and denies having sex with Ms Daniels.

Ms Daniels described how an initial meeting at the golf tournament, where they discussed the adult film industry, progressed to a "brief" sexual encounter she said Mr Trump initiated after inviting her to dinner and back to his hotel suite.

She said she did not feel physically or verbally threatened during the encounter, but she perceived an imbalance of power, with Mr Trump being "bigger and blocking the way".

She said she found it "hard to get my shoes" after it ended "because my hands were shaking so hard".

"He said, 'Oh, it was great. Let's get together again, honey bunch'," Ms Daniels said. "I just wanted to leave."

Mr Trump has been charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with the hush money payments.

Speaking outside of court at the end of the day, Mr Trump said: "This was a very big day, a very revealing day. As you see their case is totally falling apart."

Ms Daniels is expected to return to the witness stand when the trial resumes tomorrow.

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