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Article: Spankings and satin pajamas: Stormy Daniels testifies at Trump trial

Spankings and satin pajamas: Stormy Daniels testifies at Trump trial

Spankings and satin pajamas: Stormy Daniels testifies at Trump trial

PHOTO CAPTION: Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump walks, as his criminal trial over charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 continues, in New York City, U.S., May 7, 2024. REUTERS/David Dee Delgado



By Luc Cohen, Jack Queen and Andy Sullivan

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Stormy Daniels testified on Tuesday that Donald Trump greeted her in pajamas in his hotel room in 2006 where she spanked him at his request, telling jurors about the alleged encounter that would ultimately lead to the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president.

Wearing a black outfit and black glasses, Daniels, 45, said she grew annoyed by Trump's frequent interruptions and asked him: "Are you always this arrogant and pompous?"

She said Trump dared her to spank him, and she obliged.

"That's bullshit," Trump appeared to say as he watched from the defendant's table.

By midmorning, Daniels had yet to testify about the sexual intercourse she has said took place at that meeting. Her testimony was expected to resume after a break.

Trump, 77 and the Republican candidate for president this year, is accused of falsifying business records to cover up a $130,000 payment to Daniels to buy her silence during the 2016 election. He has pleaded not guilty and denies having had sex with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

She said she met Trump at a Lake Tahoe golf tournament at which Trump was a competitor. She said he took note when an associate mentioned Daniels directed films, too.

“He said, ‘Oh, you direct too - you must be the smart one,'" Daniels testified.

Daniels told jurors that later in the day, Trump's bodyguard approached her and said Trump would like her to join him for dinner.

"F no," Daniels said when asked how she initially responded.

She said she changed her mind after a publicist convinced her the dinner could make a great story.

When she arrived at his hotel suite, Trump greeted her wearing only satin pajamas.

"I said, 'Does Hugh Hefner know you stole his pajamas?'" Daniels recalled saying, referring to Playboy impresario Hugh Hefner.

Daniels told Trump to change, and he politely obliged, she said. The alleged encounter took place while Trump was married to his current wife, Melania. Trump denies any sexual encounter with Daniels.

Trump passed a note to his defense lawyer on Tuesday and sometimes appeared to close his eyes while listening to her testimony.

After the break, Justice Juan Merchan told prosecutors to pull back on details of the encounter. “The degree of detail that we’re going into is just unnecessary," he said.

Merchan had previously ruled that Daniels would be allowed to tell jurors that she had sex with Trump, over the objections of Trump's legal team.

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger said the testimony was needed to complete the story and establish Daniels’ credibility.

“In terms of the sexual act, it will be just very basic. It’s not going to involve descriptions of genitalia or anything of that nature,” Hoffinger said.

Trump, running again for president in the Nov. 5 election, has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Prosecutors have shown the former president's signature was on payments at the heart of the case. They say Trump falsely labeled payments to his lawyer Michael Cohen in 2017 as legal expenses, when they actually were reimbursements for the $130,000 hush-money payment, which Cohen had made to Daniels.

Prosecutors say that amounts to an illegal scheme to influence the 2016 election by buying the silence of people with potentially damaging information.

Trump's lawyers have suggested Daniels was seeking a role on Trump's reality TV show, "The Apprentice."

Daniels has been at the receiving end of some of Trump’s vitriolic attacks on social media.

Merchan, who is hearing the case, has said some of those posts violated a gag order restricting Trump from speaking about witnesses, jurors, and others involved in the case if those statements are meant to influence the proceedings.

Trump has been fined $10,000 so far for violating a gag order that prevents him from talking about witnesses. Merchan has warned Trump could be jailed if he keeps up his attacks.

Trump has called the gag order a violation of his free speech rights and says the trial is an attempt to hobble his attempt to win back the White House from Democratic President Joe Biden.

The case is widely seen as less consequential than three other criminal prosecutions Trump faces, but it is the only one certain to go to trial before the election.

The other cases charge Trump with trying to overturn his 2020 presidential defeat and mishandling classified documents after leaving office. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all three.

(Reporting by Jack Queen and Luc Cohen in New York and Andy Sullivan in Washington; Editing by Howard Goller)



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