US President Donald Trump Hush Money Trial Lawyer Grills Adult Film Star Stormy Daniels

Donald Trump Hush Money Trial: Former US President Donald Trump’s defence attorney, Susan Necheles, and adult film star Stormy Daniels went up against each other on Thursday during a cross-examination of her testimony in Trump’s hush money trial in New York. The trial pertains to whether a $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels was fraudulently covered up with the intent of influencing the 2016 presidential election.

The former US President’s lawyer, Susan Necheles, insisted repeatedly through her questioning that Daniels, 45, had fabricated her story of a one-off sexual encounter with Trump. “You made all this up, right?” the counsel asked at one point, prompting Daniels to respond with an emphatic “No,” as quoted by news agency AFP.

During the trial, which lasted approximately eight hours over two days, the adult film star accused Necheles of putting words in her mouth. “You’re trying to make me say it’s changed, but it hasn’t changed,” she said, referring to her account of events, as quoted by AFP. Trump’s team vied to cast Daniels as money-grubbing, sleazy and deceptive, as per the news agency.

Necheles grilled adult movie star Daniels over her decision to pen a book that included depictions of the encounter, and her decision to promote branded products. “Not unlike Mr. Trump,” Daniels quipped back, as quoted by AFP.

This comes after Daniels testified on Tuesday about a sexual encounter that she said she had with the former US President in 2006, for which she was paid to keep silent while Trump ran for office in 2016. Daniels made the testimonial during Trump’s hush money trial in New York, where the two sat feet away, trading and dismissing charges. 

As per media reports, the 45-year-old adult film star provided riveting details for several hours about her encounter with Trump. She testified that she tried not to think about the sex while it took place and feared it would become public, as per a Reuters report. She said her life descended into “chaos” after the arrangement was made public in 2018, adding that she was ostracised and harassed at her home.

In one of the offbeat moments, Necheles brought up interest by Daniels in tarot cards and the paranormal, in a bid to cast her as unhinged. She then moved to present Daniels as a fabulist, mocking her work as a screenwriter and director of pornographic films while alleging that it makes her good at twisting the truth.

“So you have a lot of experience in making phony stories about sex appear to be real?” AFP quoted Necheles as saying. “Wow, that’s not how I would put it,” Daniels said, as quoted by AFP. “The sex is real. The characters names might be different. But the sex is very real. That’s why it’s pornography,” the witness continued, as quoted by AFP. If the story with Trump were untrue, she said, “I would’ve written it to be a lot better.”

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