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Stormy Daniels Testifies About Hush-Money Deal in Trump’s Trial: Live Updates

Stormy Daniels’ testimony Tuesday against Donald J. Trump at his Manhattan criminal trial wasn’t the first time the porn star and the former president have clashed in court.

Six years ago, Ms Daniels – then known by her off-camera name, Stephanie Clifford – filed a defamation suit against Mr Trump which ultimately failed, leading to damaging consequences for her and her lawyer.

The lawsuit, first filed in Manhattan federal court in April 2018 and later moved to California, accused Mr. Trump of posting a social media message questioning Ms. Daniels’ credibility.

This followed one of her own posts, in which she included a sketch of a man she said threatened her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011, telling her to keep quiet as she was considering revealing his story for the first time. of having sex with Mr. Trump.

In his tweet, Mr Trump called the sketch a “total scam”, saying it depicted “a non-existent man”. The lawyer who represented Ms. Daniels at the time, Michael Avenatti, called Mr. Trump’s statements an attack for which she should be compensated. He cited “damage to reputation, emotional harm, exposure to contempt, ridicule and shame.”

On Tuesday, Ms Daniels briefly addressed the threatening episode in the witness box, saying she did not report it when it happened because it would have upset her then partner. But she has yet to testify in the defamation trial.

Six months after the suit was filed, a federal judge dismissed it, ruling that Mr. Trump’s message was an example of the “rhetorical hyperbole” normally associated with politics and public discourse in the United States.

“The First Amendment protects this type of rhetorical statement,” Justice James S. Otero wrote in his ruling.

Judge Otero ordered Ms. Daniels in 2018 to reimburse Mr. Trump for the more than $100,000 he spent on legal fees to defend himself.

A few months later, Ms. Daniels and Mr. Avenatti lost another lawsuit against Mr. Trump. This, also filed in California, had sought to free Ms. Daniels from a nondisclosure agreement that is now at the heart of the Manhattan criminal trial. As part of that arrangement, she received $130,000 through Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, Michael D. Cohen.

While representing Ms. Daniels, Mr. Avenatti gained so much fame that he became a fixture on the cable news circuit and at one point even considered running for president. But the consequences of losing the prosecution were even more serious for him than for his client.

Once joined at the hip, he and Ms. Daniels argued and she eventually accused him of stealing more than $300,000 in book payments intended for her. These charges led to a trial in Manhattan, where in 2022 Mr. Avenatti was convicted of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft and ultimately sentenced to four years in prison.

Mr. Avenatti remains behind bars, serving sentences for two other convictions for theft and tax evasion, but he recently weighed in on Mr. Trump’s own case in Manhattan.

On April 10, he posted a message on social media attacking Ms. Daniels and Mr. Cohen, who are also expected to testify in the case, saying it was “outrageous” that they were allowed to attack Ms. .Trump, but Mr. Trump was unable to react due to the silence imposed on him.

Mr. Trump, appearing to appreciate the support, responded online to Mr. Avenatti.

“Thank you Michael Avenatti,” he wrote, “for revealing the truth about two sleazy bags who, with their lies and misrepresentations, have cost our country dearly!”

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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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