Disgraced attorney Michael Avenatti continued his cross-examination of former client Stormy Daniels with another series of bizarre questions as his federal trial entered a fifth day.
The California lawyer, who is representing himself against wire fraud and identity theft charges, quizzed Daniels for a second day Friday on a slew of topics including her apparent ability to communicate with the dead, her line of lube, as well as her previous tweets about him being ‘raped’ in prison.
Daniels strode confidently into the federal courtroom in New York in an all-black getup, donning a black flowing blazer, blouse, pants and heels.
Sitting at the back of the courtroom was disbarred attorney Michael Cohen, who infamously offered Daniels $130,000 in hush money on behalf of former client Donald Trump to keep quiet about their affair.
Cohen and Daniels – once adversaries – have since become friends as they are now common foes of Avenatti.
During Avenatti’s cross examination, Cohen, 55, could be seen shaking his head, at one point uttering: ‘Awful questions.’
Daniels and Avenatti limbered up before the jury came in. Daniels licked her teeth and moved her head to the side as she stretched, her blonde hair waving around.
Michael Avenatti continued cross-examining his former client Stormy Daniels on day five of his wire fraud and aggravated identity theft trial
The California lawyer, who is representing himself against wire fraud and identity theft charges, quizzed Daniels for a second day Friday on a slew of topics including her apparent ability to communicate with the dead, her line of lube, as well as her previous comments about him being ‘raped’ in prison
Michael Avenatti enters Manhattan Federal Court on the fifth day as he is back on trial for allegedly stealing $300,000 from Stormy Daniels
Avenatti drank almost an entire bottle of water. Neither made eye contact.
‘Good morning Miss Daniels’, Avenatti said. She replied: ‘Good morning’.
Such cordiality did not last long as Daniels at times became frustrated with Avenatti’s questioning.
Avenatti sought to discredit her by asking about statements she had made about him in a podcast in September 2019, after he stopped representing her.
He kicked off the exchange by referring to Daniels’s tweets about him, asking: ‘You said in prison there’ll be a long line of people to a**-rape me, didn’t you?’
‘I don’t remember,’ Daniels replied.
He continued: ‘You said it’s handy you have your own line of lube how because you can just bring me a gift basket in prison?’ Daniels replied: ‘I did, on Twitter.’
Avenatti brought up when the host of the podcast said he wanted him to ‘f***ing suffer’, Daniels replied that she would ‘put tabasco sauce in the lube’.
Daniels said: ‘I probably said that’.
Avenatti asked about another podcast in July last year where she talked about Avenatti ‘dropping the soap’ in prison, a phrase referring to anal sex which Daniels replied was a ‘gay term.’
Former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen watches as witness Stormy Daniels enters the courtroom to testify in the criminal trial of the former attorney Michael Avenatti Friday
Avenatti is pictured left with Stormy Daniels in May 2018, before their professional relationship collapsed after she accused him of embezzling money she made of her 2018 memoir Full Disclosure (right)
Avenatti’s cross-examination of Stormy Daniels in full
Avenatti: How long have you been an actress?
Stormy Daniels: Since 2002.
Avenatti: So you are expert in reading scripts.
Avenatti: You said in prison there’ll be a long line of people to a*s-rape me, didn’t you?
Daniels: I don’t remember.
Avenatti: You said it’s handy you have your own line of lube how because you can just bring me a gift basket in prison?
Daniels: I did, on Twitter.
Avenatti: What does ‘drop the soap’ mean?
Daniels: It’s a gay term.
Avenatti: Have you ever falsely accused anyone of a crime?
Daniels: Not to my knowledge.
Avenatti: So in New Orleans, you claim you experience poltergeist phenomena and unexplainable voices that prowled your home, right?
Avenatti: They invaded your life and relationship?
Daniels: That’s on the Spooky Babes website.
Avenatti: Your partner at the time was who?
Daniels: Denver Nicks.
Avenatti: He was never the director of your documentary, right?
Daniels: I don’t have a documentary.
Avenatti: So if someone said he was the director of your documentary, that would be untrue, right?
AUSA:Objection! Judge Furman: Sustained.
Avenatti: Let me ask about the dark entity in your house.
Daniels: I was told that by a medium.
Avenatti: Let’s talk about this alleged television show. Has it ever aired on TV?
Daniels: No. It is in editing with —
Avenatti: Move to strike everything after ‘no.’ Judge Furman: Denied.
Avenatti: You said Denver Nicks has not been the same since.
Daniels: I don’t know. I haven’t seen him in two years.
Avenatti: You said, He called you nuts and you moved out?
AUSA: Objection. Judge Furman: I’ll allow it, not for the truth but if it was said.
Avenatti: From time to time you pull up in front of the house in an Uber and you talk to the house?
Daniels: It’s a TV show. Avenatti: So you’re making it up?
Avenatti: And you said a scan showed a blockage in your head?
Daniels: It was a reiki.
Judge Furman: Can you spell that?
Avenatti: You said, I’m pretty sure saying I talk to dead people is ruining my court cases because there’s your insanity dismissal, like, you know?
Daniels: Yes, I said that.
Avenatti: How do you speak with the dead?
Daniels: It just happens sometimes
Avenatti said that when the host said: ‘I hope he doesn’t drop anything’, Daniels replied: ‘I do. Over and over’. Daniels confirmed she said the words.
Avenatti then asked Daniels about the meaning behind the phrase ‘drop the soap’, which she explained was a ‘gay term.’
In one of many odd transitions, Avenatti then pivoted to asking Daniels about her ability to speak to the dead and her doll, in another attempt to discredit her.
Daniels, 42, on Thursday described herself as an actress, writer and director currently working on a documentary-style television show, titled ‘Spooky Babes,’ in which she and a team investigate paranormal activity.
‘How do you speak with the dead?’ he asked Friday. ‘I don’t know, it just happens sometimes,’ she replied, adding that she used ‘cards, meditation’ to communicate with dead people and that sometimes she recorded their conversations.
Avenatti asked Daniels on Friday whether she believed in ‘paranormal activity,’ and she replied that she did.
He then moved on to ask Daniels about her appearance on a podcast hosted by Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former attorney who was alleged to have offered her hush money to stay quiet about her tryst with the former president.
The court earlier heard that Avenatti met Daniels, a former porn actress, in 2018 and agreed to represent her in her case against Donald Trump for a one-time $100 fee, in addition to being entitled to a ‘standard hourly fee’ if a legal defense fund was set up.
Their contract also stated that if Avenatti helped Daniels with a book or media deal he would be paid a ‘reasonable percentage to be agreed upon’ by both of them.
When asked whether a clause of their contract showed he’s ‘entitled to a reasonable percentage’ of a book deal on Friday, Daniels replied: ‘You’re very entitled, yes.
Avenatti asked Daniels whether she had said that she ‘did get my first couple of checks’, on Cohen’s show.
‘I said that,’ Daniels confirmed.
When asked if she also told Cohen, ‘But my last big check, he intercepted by forging my signature’ and if she said she never got to see a royalty statement, Daniels said she could not remember.
The exchange took place on the fifth day of Avenatti’s trial for allegedly siphoning off $300,000 of an $800,000 book advance that Daniels was owed for her 2018 memoir, Full Disclosure.
Avenatti began questioning Daniels for about 10 minutes on Thursday before the jury was dismissed for the day.
As he began what he claims will be his six-hour interrogation of the porn star, Avenatti said that she claimed she could communicate with the children’s toy named Susan on the show Spooky Babes.
The doll is said to be haunted with the spirit of a young girl who died in the 1960s, according to the show’s website.
Avenatti, who is representing himself, told the jury in his fraud trial that Daniels also claimed that she had X-Ray vision and can see through buildings.
Daniels shot back that ‘Susan speaks to everyone on the show’, adding: ‘She even has her own Instagram.’
The sharp exchange took place on the fourth day of Avenatti’s trial for allegedly siphoning off $300,000 of an $800,000 book advance that Daniels was owed for her book Full Disclosure.
Michael Avenatti tried to undermine Stormy Daniels’ credibility during cross examination by telling the jury that she talks to a doll on her paranormal TV show
Avenatti said that she claimed on ‘Spooky Babes’ that she could communicate with a doll named Susan
Daniels shot back that ‘Susan speaks to everyone on the show’, adding: ‘She even has her own Instagram’
Earlier Thursday, Daniels walked into court wearing black heels, a black dress with a slit down her right shoulder and a flowing dark red cardigan.
She sat in the witness box – a plastic box with a filter inside it due to Covid protocols – and took off her mask before brushing back her blonde hair.
Asked by the prosecutor why Avenatti stopped being her lawyer in February 2019, Daniels said Thursday: ‘He stole from me and lied to me.’
Asked what in particular, she replied: ‘Payments from my publisher about my book.’
Susan the paranormal doll haunted with the spirit of a young girl who died in the 1960s
Stormy Daniels claims she communicates with a haunted doll named Susan on her paranormal TV show Spooky Babes.
According to the Spooky Babes website, Susan is one of the most unique haunted objects in the world.
The show claims the doll is haunted by a young girl who tragically passed away in the 1960s.
‘Susan went to a private collection of world renowned origins until she was purchased by a man named John in 2011,’ the site reads. ‘Susan has always had an intensity to her, affecting those in her presence.
Spooky Babes claims Susan has has made Marines jump, individuals cry and some question their sanity.
‘It was not until Susan interacted with Stormy, however, that she became truly active and began to excel in the form of communication and even movement,’ the site claims.
‘Witnesses have heard Susan speak, seen her eyes shift and even her physical body pivot and move.
‘Susan is now officially part of the Spooky Babes family and even accompanies the team to certain locations to aid in communication with the spirits inside. Susan continues to take on an identity of her own and even has her own social media with photos of all of her haunted adventures.’
Daniels gave her name as Stephanie Clifford, her legal name and she appeared nervous, speaking so quickly that the judge had to ask her to slow down.
Prosecutor Robert Sobelman asked her if she was known by any other names and she said ‘Stormy Daniels’, which she said she preferred to be referred to as.
Daniels identified Avenatti as the defendant – he stood up in court as she was asked to do so.
Asked by the prosecutor why Avenatti stopped being her lawyer in February 2019, Daniels spoke in a clear voice and said: ‘He stole from me and lied to me’.
Asked what in particular, she replied: ‘Payments from my publisher about my book’.
Daniels described herself as a ‘writer, director, actress’ who was currently working on a TV series about the paranormal.
During her three hours of testimony, Daniels talked the jury through how she repeatedly tried to get the second and third payments of her $800,000 book contract for her memoir, ‘Full Disclosure’, which was published in October 2018 by St Martin’s press.
The memoir details her affair with former President Donald Trump.
Prosecutors claimed that Avenatti convinced her literary agent to send him the second payment of $148,000 which he sent on to her a month later after using it to pay his law firm’s bills and payroll.
It is alleged that Avenatti received the third payment, also of $148,000, and never gave Daniels a dime.
Daniels said that in September 2018 she was so angry that the second payment had not been made she messaged Avenatti: ‘I didn’t get paid today. I am not f****** happy. They are in breach of contract’, referring to St. Martin’s Press.
Daniels said she was ‘confused and extremely irritated’ that the payment was late.
That same day Avenatti told her that the publishers had mailed a check to his office and that it would be paid.
Over the subsequent weeks Daniels grew increasingly frustrated when the third payment was delayed as well, even though she turned in the book manuscript.
Daniels’ patience began to ran out in late 2018 and she messaged Avenatti that the publishers were being ‘a******’ and acting like ‘d****’
Prosecutors talked Daniels through dozens of text messages she sent to Avenatti in late 2018 and early 2019 begging him for updates about the book.
Sobelman repeatedly asked Daniels whether Avenatti ever mentioned in these messages that not only had he received the payment but had already spent it.
With venom in her voice, Daniels replied that he never did.
Avenatti tried to stall her by claiming that St. Martin’s press needed a list of her PR appearances to promote the book and that he was threatening them with legal action if they didn’t pay, the court heard.
Daniels’ relationship with Avenatti came under strain when her fans messaged her that there was a second legal defense fund raising money for her that she didn’t know about.
Avenatti smoothed things over and she agreed to put out a statement he suggested to her.
With a laugh, Daniels told the jury that she added some swear words because ‘my fans know I have a potty mouth’ and she didn’t want them to suspect it was not her own comments.
In December 2018 Daniels pleaded with Avenatti to help her yet again.
She needed the third payment to put down a deposit on a house and get out of a challenging domestic situation.
She wrote that she was ‘trapped’ in her house with her ex-husband who she was splitting up with and that ‘every day (they are in the same house) is one step closer to one of us going to jail.’
By February 2019 the third payment still hadn’t arrived and Avenatti messaged Daniels saying that St. Martin’s press were suggesting a lower third and fourth payment, which was due to be paid soon, as a ‘settlement’.
The jury heard that Avenatti messaged Daniels the low sales numbers for her book: Between October 2018 and January 2019 it sold just 24,000 hard copies and 9,278 ebooks.
Daniels told the court that her contract with St. Martin’s Press was not dependent on book sales – she got paid anyway.
Daniels told the jury she told Avenatti: ‘Hell no!’ to the deal.
By February 13 Daniels had had enough and texted Avenatti: ‘F*** them’, referring to her publishers, who she still believed were withholding her third payment.
Daniels told Avenatti she wanted to sue St Martin’s Press and told him: ‘Now. Find my f****** money’.
Avenatti replied: ‘Word!!!!!!’
Aveantti’s alleged fraud fell apart when Daniels made direct contact with her publishers who sent her the details of the bank transfers.
She told the jury that she saw that the second payment had been made into an account Avenatti set up in her name she didn’t even know about.
The third payment had not only been made, it had been made early, in September.
Daniels told the jury that Avenatti had ‘lied to me almost every day for five months.’
Avenatti said he plans to cross-examine Daniels for six hours. He has pleaded not guilty and faces up to 22 years in prison if convicted. Avenatti is seen arriving to court on Thursday
Stormy Daniels took the stand Thursday to testify against her formerAvenatti at his criminal trial over accusations that he defrauded her. Daniels walked into court wearing black heels, a black dress with a slit down her right shoulder and a flowing dark red cardigan
She sent him a screenshot of the bank transfers proving everything as a ‘mic drop.’
Daniels told the jury she wanted to tell Avenatti: ‘I am tired of your lies. Just stop. Come clean.’
Asked how this made her feel, Daniels said: ‘Very, very angry. Shocked. Disbelief. Hurt. I felt very betrayed and stupid.’
Asked how she felt knowing that her third payment had actually been made early, she said: ‘I don’t know if there’s a word stronger than furious. And shocked.’
Daniels said that since the alleged fraud was exposed she has made many public comments about Avenatti, including one that she wanted him to be ‘raped in prison.’
She told the prosecutor that she didn’t actually want it to happen to him, adding that she felt ‘violated’ after what had happened to her.
In February 2018 when she first met Avenatti she said she was an ‘actress, model, dancer and working in adult films’.
They met at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills to discuss how Avenatti could help her get out of agreements she signed with Donald Trump not to talk about their sexual relations.
Daniels said that she next saw Avenatti 24 hours later over lunch and that he offered to represent her for $100 up front.
She signed a contract with him which said he was entitled to a ‘standard hourly fee’ if a legal defense fund was set up.
Daniels said that such a fund was set up and that it made around $650,000.
The contract said that if Avenatti helped Daniels with a book or media deal he would be paid a ‘reasonable percentage to be agreed upon’ by both of them.
Prosecutor Sobelman asked if they ever agreed how much Avenatti’s fee would be if she got a book deal.
Daniels said no.
She also confirmed that she did not sign any other contracts with Avenatti.