The woman who walked into Donald Trump’s Manhattan courtroom today was a sharp departure from many of the week’s earlier witnesses, who testified on such procedural topics as ledgers, invoices and common accounting practices.

This witness, Stormy Daniels, a former porn star, instead offered a vivid, unsavory and sometimes uneven account of something that has made her far more famous than her adult film career: a 2006 sexual encounter she said she had with Trump that lies at the heart of the criminal case he faces in Manhattan.

Daniels, dressed in all black, wearing glasses and her long blonde hair pulled back, was a complicated and imperfect witness, who was scolded by the judge, Juan Merchan, for wandering off topic.

Prosecutors, too, seemed sometimes frustrated by both the quicksilver pace of her answers — she is a fast talker, with little filter — and the consistent objections by the defense, many of which Merchan upheld. He appeared to want to avoid graphic testimony, meandering answers and leading questions.

Still, Daniels, 45, gave the jury — and assembled members of the press and public — a lurid portrait of her interactions with Trump, who she said invited her to a Lake Tahoe hotel suite and suggested she might appear on the “Apprentice.” Then, after she went to the bathroom, she found him in his boxers and T-shirt and posed on the bed, waiting, she said.

“The room spun in slow motion,” Daniels said on the stand, adding, “I thought, ‘Oh, my God, what did I misread to get here?’”


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