Stormy Daniels feels ‘relieved’ and ‘a little vindicated’ after Donald Trump hush money conviction

Georgina Noack
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Stormy Daniels’ husband said his wife is ‘processing’ the news of Donald Trump’s guilty verdict, but his conviction lifted a ‘big weight off her shoulders’.
Stormy Daniels’ husband said his wife is ‘processing’ the news of Donald Trump’s guilty verdict, but his conviction lifted a ‘big weight off her shoulders’. Credit: Elizabeth Williams/AP

Relief and a “little” vindication — those are the prevailing emotions of porn star Stormy Daniels after Donald Trump was handed a guilty verdict in a New York courtroom on Thursday.

A New York jury found the former US President guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records over a $130,000 hush-money payment made to Ms Daniels to cover up a sex scandal that might have impeded his 2016 run to the White House.

The ruling makes Trump the first former US president ever to be convicted of a crime, but does not rule him out of the 2024 race.

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While Ms Daniels has yet to comment on the ruling herself, her husband Barrett Blade told CNN the guilty verdict had lifted “a big weight off her shoulders”.

Mr Blade said she is still “processing” the ruling, but feels “a little vindicated” by the outcome.

“This wasn’t her seeking justice for herself. She was standing up for herself early on and saying what was right, but this whole hush money trial has really … it’s not her story,” Mr Blade said.

He said they would have supported the jury’s decision “either way”, it is nice they saw her testimony as factual.

“But I think it does help with the fact that she feels a little vindicated that she was telling the truth,” he added.

FILE - Adult film actress Stormy Daniels arrives for the opening of the adult entertainment fair Venus in Berlin, on Oct. 11, 2018. Daniels' lawyer said she met Wednesday, March 15, 2023, with prosecutors who are investigating hush money paid to her on behalf of former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)
Stormy Daniels’ husband and her lawyer have revealed how the adult film star feels after Donald Trump’s guilty verdict. Credit: Markus Schreiber/AP

On the stand, Ms Daniels described how she and Trump met at a celebrity golf tournament in July 2006 that ended with a “brief” sexual encounter at his Lake Tahoe hotel room. Trump has always denied these claims.

At the time, Trump was married to his wife, Melania — who did not attend court for the trial.

Ms Daniels told the court she did not feel threatened in the encounter but knew Trump’s bodyguard was outside the suite, and said that she perceived a power imbalance in the encounter, AP reports.

In the years since Ms Daniels has been a vocal critic of Trump and shared her story multiple times. And during the 2016 presidential election, she authorised her agent to shop the story around.

In the final weeks of the race, Trump ordered his then-lawyer and personal fixer Michael Cohen pay Ms Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet; which Trump then paid Cohen back, hiding the reimbursements as legal retainer fees in Trump’s real estate company’s records.

Trump’s defence has suggested the payment to Ms Daniels was meant to protect his family from embarrassment, but Cohen testified that Trump was solely concerned with the effect on his campaign.

Trump pleaded not guilty throughout the trial and denied the alleged 2006 sexual encounter, but the 12-person jury found him guilty.

Stormy Daniels alleged she and Donald Trump had sex at a Lake Tahoe hotel in July 2006 after meeting at a celebrity gold tournament.
Stormy Daniels alleged she and Donald Trump had sex at a Lake Tahoe hotel in July 2006 after meeting at a celebrity gold tournament. Credit: Supplied

Shortly after the verdict was read in New York on Thursday, local time, Ms Daniels’ lawyer Clark Brewster said his client was “relieved that this case is now over”.

“She always had great faith in our justice system and in the solemn oath jurors take in undertaking their service,” Mr Brewster said.

“No man is above the law and the selfless hardworking service of each of these jurors should be respected and appreciated.”

The judge overseeing the case, Juan Merchan, is expected to announce his sentencing decision on July 11.

Trump faces a maximum sentence of four years for each felony but experts say it is unlikely he will get jail time. He could receive probation or community service.

The guilty verdict makes Trump the first former president in US history to be convicted of a felony, but it will neither prevent Trump from running in an election, nor from taking office if he wins.

Trump spoke after the verdict, calling the trial “rigged” and a “disgrace” by a “corrupt” judge.

He said he will deliver more in-depth remarks on the verdict on Friday, local time, in a news conference at Trump Tower in New York.

He also posted a campaign video on his Truth Social page, saying: “This is the final battle.”

Trump is seeking to reclaim the White House from Democratic President Joe Biden this year at the November 5 election.

Trump faces three other criminal prosecutions but they are not expected to go to trial before the election.

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