A recap of Stormy Daniels’s testimony so far in Trump’s hush-money trial


For nearly five hours this week, the woman whose encounter with Donald J. Trump resulted in his criminal trial years later has told her side of the story. On Thursday, she will defend that account.

The woman, Stormy Daniels, answered questions from Manhattan prosecutors for several hours Tuesday before Mr. Trump’s lawyers began cross-examining her, and she will return to the stand Thursday. Defense lawyers are expected to grill her about inconsistencies in her account of a liaison at golf tournament and her motives in divulging it.

Ms. Daniels began her testimony by describing how she and Mr. Trump met, a now-infamous encounter just off a fairway in Lake Tahoe, Nev., during a celebrity tournament in July 2006.

Ms. Daniels, a porn star, had been greeting people who strolled through a tent at one of the tournament’s holes that had been sponsored by her employer, the film company Wicked Pictures. One was Mr. Trump, the real estate mogul whose fame had skyrocketed as a result of his hosting the reality television show “The Apprentice.”

He said hello to Ms. Daniels and posed for a picture, she said on Tuesday, in intense and sometimes graphic testimony mere feet from Mr. Trump, during the first criminal trial of a former American president.

Ms. Daniels said their conversation in the tent was brief — he remarked on her intelligence, evident because she not only starred in films but also directed them, she said.

After that encounter, his bodyguard, Keith Schiller, told Ms. Daniels that Mr. Trump would like to have dinner with her, she said. Mr. Schiller saved her phone number, she said. Her publicist advised her to accept the invitation, noting: “Like, what could possibly go wrong?”

She was 27. He was 60, and had a newborn son with his wife, Melania. They had been married a little more than a year.

Much of Ms. Daniels’s story has been public for years, first in news reports about a year after Mr. Trump moved into the White House, and later by her own telling in television interviews and her book, “Full Disclosure.”

Her account did not directly give rise to the 34 felony charges against Mr. Trump. Instead, they resulted from Mr. Trump’s reimbursement of the $130,000 in hush money that Michael D. Cohen, the former president’s fixer and personal lawyer, paid to Ms. Daniels in the days before the 2016 election. Prosecutors say that the payments to Mr. Cohen were purposely mislabeled within the Trump Organization as “legal expenses,” a falsification of business records intended to conceal the deal.

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