Pajamas, 'honeybunch' and sex: Stormy testifies

Daniels revealed a plethora of unforgettable allegations.

08 May 2024 08:54am
Former US President Donald Trump attends his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 7, 2024. - Photo by AFP
Former US President Donald Trump attends his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 7, 2024. - Photo by AFP

NEW YORK - It was the courtroom face-off everyone was waiting for -- testimony of high legal importance, and salacious sexual content.

Donald Trump, the former US president who has always prided himself on being in charge and in control, was forced to sit silently and listen to a porn star describe in open court a bedroom encounter that he denies ever took place.

"When I opened the bathroom door to come out, Mr. Trump had come into the bedroom," Stormy Daniels told the New York court.

"The intention was pretty clear, someone stripped down to their underwear posing on the bed waiting for you."

Trump impassively stared ahead through Daniels' testimony, which often veered into graphic sexual detail despite the judge's best efforts.

"My clothes and shoes were off, I think I still had my bra on. We were in missionary position."

Was he wearing a condom? "No."

Was it brief? "Yes."

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If anyone was wrong-footed by the adult material, it was Judge Juan Merchan.

He appeared annoyed at times, ordering Daniels to "just answer the questions" after repeated objections from the defence, several of which he upheld.

Daniels still revealed a plethora of unforgettable allegations.

She told the court Trump called her "Honeybunch," and she described multiple phone calls with him -- some of which she put on speakerphone to entertain her friends.

The encounter took place in 2006, she recalled, when Trump had pushed to have dinner with her at a golf tournament.

When she arrived via the penthouse elevator, Trump greeted her in silk or satin pajamas before changing into casual clothes after she teased him.

"He said it was a bit early, maybe we could talk a little bit and get to know each other," Daniels said.

She recounted that he asked if she had a boyfriend, about the economics of the porn industry, and the threat of catching a sexually-transmitted disease in her job.

"I said well, we were tested every 30 days," Daniels told the court, occasionally looking straight at Trump, who did not return her gaze.

'He went to kiss me'

Daniels said their lengthy conversation touched on Trump's wife Melania -- with Trump saying "we actually don't even sleep in the same room" -- as well as whether Daniels should go on Trump's hit show "The Apprentice."

"He said I reminded him of his daughter because she's smart and blonde," Daniels added in another excruciating comment.

When Trump showed her a magazine with him on the cover, she joked: "Someone should spank you with that," she told the court.

"He gave me the look that he dared me to do it... so I swatted him with it right on the butt."

In testimony that was at times calm, and at times uncertain, she said they saw each other the next day, and met again at a function at Trump Tower in New York and in Los Angeles, but they did not have sex again.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, wore a black jacket as she answered questions, with prosecutors seeking to prove Trump covered up payments to her to hush up the alleged sexual encounter.

The former president and 2024 Republican candidate -- wearing a blue suit and yellow tie -- sat back in his chair, his head tilted, sometimes conferring with his lawyer.

Trump's son Eric looked on, shaking his head.

Daniels appeared to have gotten under Trump's skin even before she entered the shabby courtroom in a Manhattan skyscraper.

"I have just recently been told who the witness is today. This is unprecedented, no time for lawyers to prepare," he fumed on social media, later deleting the post.

On the witness stand, she made clear the sex was consensual and said he told her "that was great."

Daniels said her hands were shaking as she quickly got dressed. "He went to kiss me goodbye, I went to leave as fast as I could."

Trump's lawyers called for a mistrial, saying much of Daniels' testimony had nothing to do with the fraud charges that the ex-president faces.

The judge denied the request, but added "I agree there were some things that were better left unsaid." - AFP