Trump lawyer accuses Stormy Daniels of profiting off sex claims

Trump lawyer accuses Stormy Daniels of profiting off sex claims
Trump lawyer accuses Stormy Daniels of profiting off sex claims

Donald Trump’s lawyers accused porn actor Stormy Daniels of “shilling” merchandise off the former president’s indictment and “bragging” about landing him in legal trouble, as they sought to destroy the star witness’s credibility at the resumption of the Manhattan “hush money” trial.

The 45-year-old, whose alleged sexual encounter with Trump is at the heart of the criminal case, was subjected to a barrage of hostile questions from defense counsel Susan Necheles on Thursday morning. She was presented with a series of social media posts in which she celebrated the various charges brought against the presumptive Republican nominee.

Necheles introduced a recording in which Daniels’ then-lawyer, who was negotiating the $130,000 paid to silence her in the run-up to the 2016 election, claimed she “wanted this money more than you can. . . conceived”. The defense lawyer also brought up how Daniels had made more than a million dollars by telling her tale, in books and documentaries.

Daniels on Tuesday delivered hours of detailed testimony about her “brief” sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, including a series of embarrassing anecdotes about how the then reality TV star lured her to his hotel suite and told her not to worry about his wife Melania.

At one point, her evidence prompted Trump, who was sitting a few feet away at the defense table, to mouth an expletive in response. The former president, who has always denied an affair with Daniels, was rebuked by Justice Juan Merchan for “cursing audibly” and “shaking his head visually”.

The Trump team’s legal tactics became more apparent on Thursday as Necheles continued her cross-examination of Daniels, seeking to paint her as an unreliable narrator with a vendetta against the 77-year-old who had seized on a moneymaking opportunity.

Pictures of various items sold by Daniels following Trump’s criminal indictment in 2023 were shown to the court, including a comic book and a devotional candle featuring her picture and the tagline “Stormy, Saint of Indictments”, which was sold for $40 each.

Necheles referenced Daniels’ work as a medium and tarot-card reader, alleging that she was “making a living talking with dead people”.

When Necheles insinuated that Daniels had used her skills as a writer of adult fiction to fabricate her story about Trump, she hit back by saying “if that story was untrue, I would have written it to be a lot better”, bringing a smile to some jurors’ faces.

Responding to accusations that she was monetizing her life story, she retorted: “Not unlike Mr Trump.”

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