Stormy Daniels and Trump Have Met in Court Before, to Her Detriment

Stormy Daniels’s testimony on Tuesday against Donald J. Trump at his criminal trial in Manhattan was not the first time that 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 lawsuit against Mr. Trump that ultimately failed, leading to damaging consequences for both her and her lawyer.

The lawsuit, first filed in Manhattan federal court in April 2018 and then transferred to California, accused Mr. Trump of posting a social media message that called into question Ms. Daniels’s credibility.

It came in response to one of her own posts, in which she included a sketch of a man who, she said, had threatened her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011, telling her to keep silent when she was first considering revealing her account of having had sex with Mr. Trump.

In his tweet, Mr. Trump called the sketch “a total con job,” saying it depicted “a nonexistent man.” A 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 “harm to her reputation, emotional harm, exposure to contempt, ridicule, and shame.”

On Tuesday, Ms. Daniels briefly mentioned the threatening episode from the witness stand, saying that she did not report it when it happened because it would have been upsetting to her partner at the time. But she has not yet testified about the defamation lawsuit.

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