LISTEN: ABC investigative reporter on impact of explicit details from Stormy Daniels in Trump trial

May 8, 2024, 3:14 PM | Updated: 6:28 pm

Former US President Donald Trump attends his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments li...

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. (Win McNamee/Pool/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

(Win McNamee/Pool/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

Here’s 👇  the podcast of our live conversation with ABC News Investigative Reporter Peter Charalambous.


(CNN) — Adult film star Stormy Daniels dished out salacious details of her alleged sexual encounter with former President Donald Trump in 2006 from the witness stand on Tuesday, describing how they met at a celebrity golf tournament and what she says happened when she went to Trump’s Lake Tahoe hotel room.

In a mostly casual and conversational tone, Daniels recounted details from the floors and furniture in Trump’s hotel room to the contents of his toiletry kit in the bathroom. At one point in court, Daniels threw back her arm and lifted her leg in the witness box to re-create the moment she says Trump posed on his hotel bed for her, stripped down to his undergarments.

But some of the details Daniels described were so explicit that Judge Juan Merchan cut her off at several points. And Trump’s lawyers argued that Daniels had unfairly prejudiced the jury, asking Merchan to declare a mistrial. The judge denied the request but added that some of the details from Daniels were “better left unsaid.”

Crucially, however, Daniels also testified about the interest that Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen seemed to have had in buying her story after the “Access Hollywood” tape came out just before the 2016 election.

The adult film star will be back on the witness stand when the trial resumes Thursday. Trump’s attorney Susan Necheles will resume her cross-examination of Daniels following nearly 90 minutes of tense questioning Tuesday afternoon.

Here are the takeaways from Day 13 of the Trump hush money trial:

Stormy Daniels describes sexual encounter in detail

On Tuesday morning, Daniels walked the jury through the details of her 2006 encounter with Trump in his hotel room, where the adult film star says she slept with Trump. (Trump has denied the affair.)

Daniels described what was in Trump’s hotel room, including the black-and-white tile floor and the big mahogany table in the center of the foyer. She described the dinner conversation – she was impressed Trump asked about the business of the adult film industry, not just the sex.

She also told jurors about when she “spanked” Trump “right on the butt” with a copy of one of his magazines.

Daniels then said that after she went to the bathroom, she emerged to find Trump on the hotel bed in his boxers and a T-shirt. “At first I was just startled, like a jump scare. I wasn’t expecting someone to be there, especially minus a lot of clothing,” she testified.

She said that Trump “stood up between me and the door. Not in a threatening manner. He didn’t come at me, he didn’t rush at me. Nothing like that.” Daniels said she blacked out while they had sex: “I had my clothes and my shoes off. I removed my bra. We were in missionary position.”

At this point, the judge cut off Daniels from getting into any further detail. It was one of several objections he sustained either on his own or at Trump’s attorneys’ request.

Daniels went on to testify that she was “shaking” while she got dressed and made sure to have future meetings with Trump in public. Daniels said that while she told lots of people she met Trump and went to his hotel room, she confided in very few people about the sexual encounter, in part because she was “ashamed.”

Overall, the testimony was so lengthy and detailed that Merchan cautioned Daniels on multiple occasions to slow down and listen to the questions and answer them briefly. A prosecutor also gave Daniels instructions specifically to stay focused while answering questions.

Hush money came after ‘Access Hollywood’ tape controversy

Daniels would go on to describe how she stayed touch with Trump, even coming to briefly see him at Trump Tower to talk about the “Celebrity Apprentice” reality show.

Daniels said that in 2015, after Trump began running for president, her then-publicist Gina Rodriguez tried to sell her story. But Rodriguez didn’t find much interest until after the “Access Hollywood” tape of Trump was released in October 2016 – eventually leading to the discussions with AMI and then Michael Cohen, who paid Daniels $130,000 not to go public with her case.

Daniels confirmed that the contract agreement between Peggy Peterson and David Dennison used pseudonyms for her and Trump, and that she signed the agreement.

Under that agreement, Daniels said she did not comment on news stories about the AMI deals or any affairs, saying she felt bound by the nondisclosure agreement she signed with Cohen.

She also explained how she was not truthful when she denied that she had an affair with Trump in statements released in 2018 after the hush money payment became public. She says she signed a statement before going on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in a way she’s never signed her name before as a “tip off” to the late-night talk show host.

“Is this statement false?” prosecutor Susan Hoffinger asked on Tuesday.

“Yes,” Daniels said.

Judge denies Trump’s mistrial motion

Trump’s lawyers argued the judge should declare a mistrial after the morning of salacious testimony from Daniels.

Trump still vehemently denies the allegations, his attorney Todd Blanche said, arguing there was no way to “un-ring that bell” for jurors who have now heard unfairly prejudicial testimony. Blanche argued that the testimony had nothing to do with the district attorney’s case about falsifying business records.

“This is the kind of testimony that makes it impossible to come back from, not even talking about the fact that we’re talking about somebody (who) is going to go out and campaign this afternoon,” Blanche said, adding that media outlets were already reporting at lunch about Daniels’ narrative of events.

“How can we come back from this in a way that’s fair to President Trump?” Blanche challenged.

Hoffinger said the testimony was “highly probative of the defendant’s intent” and Trump’s “motive for paying this off.”

Merchan ultimately denied the mistrial motion but said he felt Daniels was a difficult witness to control.

“I do think there are something things that would have been better left unsaid. Having said that, I don’t believe we’re at a point where a mistrial is warranted,” he said.

Merchan also said he showed his alignment with the defense in sustaining most of their objections during the testimony – and that he was surprised there weren’t more objections.

“The defense has to take some responsibility for that,” Merchan said.

Trump signaled his lawyers’ strategy during the lunch break, posting on Truth Social: “THE PROSECUTION, WHICH HAS NO CASE, HAS GONE TOO FAR. MISTRIAL!”

Defense accuses Daniels of lying for profit

Trump attorney Necheles didn’t take long to challenge Daniels’ story in cross-examination, accusing the adult film actress of hating Trump.

“Am I correct that you hate President Trump?” Necheles asked

“Yes,” Daniels said.

“You want him to go to jail?” Necheles continued.

“I want him to be held accountable,” Daniels responded.

Daniels’ body language was tense and her tone notably shifted as Necheles attempted to dismantle her credibility. Daniels gave short, terse answers to many of her questions, defiantly responding “false” and “no” while disputing Necheles’ assertions that she had made up details in her story or that she was trying to extort Trump.

Necheles, for instance, pressed Daniels about disobeying a court order to pay Trump’s lawyer’s fees for filing a frivolous lawsuit, and about whether she was making money from telling her story.

“You’ve been making money by claiming to have had sex with President Trump for more than a decade,” asked Necheles.

“I’ve been making money by telling my story about what happened to me,” Daniels said.

“That story has made you a lot of money, right?” Necheles asked.

“It’s also cost me a lot of money,” Daniels responded.

Daniels was combative with Necheles at multiple points, as Trump’s attorney argued that she had made up a story about being threatened by a man in Las Vegas in 2011 and that she was changing her story depending on who was paying her.

Near the end of questioning Tuesday, Necheles equated the $130,000 payment before the 2016 election to extortion – a similar line of questioning Trump’s lawyers used with Daniels’ attorney, Keith Davidson.

“You are looking to extort money from President Trump,” Necheles asked.

“False,” Daniels said, raising her voice.

“That’s what you did, right?” Necheles followed up.

“False,” Daniels said again.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

United States

the us house of representatives shown at the capitol, the house passed a bill about sodium nitrite...

Allessandra Harris Gurr

House passes bill to ban a compound used in suicides

Legislation backed by Rep. Celeste Maloy would ban the consumer sale of sodium nitrite, a product becoming increasingly common in suicides.

5 days ago

The European Union is about to enact strict new rules to try to prevent misuse of Artificial Intell...

Simone Seikaly

New AI rules for the EU, but the loneliness remains

As the European Union adopts strict rules for Artificial Intelligence, some in America question if AI can replace loneliness.

5 days ago

one of chad daybell and tammy daybell's children, daughter Emma Murray takes the stand...

Collin Leonard, KSL.com

Chad Daybell daughter says her mother’s health was declining before she died

Chad Daybell's daughter Emma Murrary took the stand as the defense in the Chad Daybell murder trial began presenting its case Monday.

7 days ago

President Joe Biden, left, and former President Donald Trump (right) have each accepted an invitati...

Mariah Maynes

President Biden and former President Trump accept CNN debate invitation

President Biden and Former President Donald Trump have agreed to a debate that will be hosted by CNN in June.

12 days ago

Baby names in US...

Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN

The latest list of top US baby names has a few surprises

The list of the most popular US baby names was released. See what name knocked Benjamin out of the top 10.

13 days ago

KSL NewsRadio's Amanda Dickson gives thanks to Utah women and mother's everywhere this Mother's Day...

Amanda Dickson

Dickson: A salute to Utah women

KSL NewsRadio's anchor and host, Amanda Dickson gives salute to all Utah women and mothers for all they do this Mother's Day.

15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

LISTEN: ABC investigative reporter on impact of explicit details from Stormy Daniels in Trump trial