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Stormy waters Stormy Daniels says former attorney Michael Avenatti 'stole from me and lied to me'

Mr Avenatti is on trial for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges over claims he stole nearly $300k from a $800k advance paid to Ms Daniels for her 2018 book Full Disclosure

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Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, alongside Michael Avenatti

Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, alongside Michael Avenatti

Stormy Daniels is sworn in before testifying during the criminal trial of former attorney Michael Avenatti at the United States Courthouse in Manhattan in a courtroom sketch. Picture: Reuters/Jane Rosenberg

Stormy Daniels is sworn in before testifying during the criminal trial of former attorney Michael Avenatti at the United States Courthouse in Manhattan in a courtroom sketch. Picture: Reuters/Jane Rosenberg

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Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, alongside Michael Avenatti

Stormy Daniels has accused Michael Avenatti of theft and dishonesty over the proceeds of a book publishing deal as she took the witness stand in her former attorney’s trial on Thursday.

I hired another attorney because he stole from me and lied to me,” Ms Daniels said during an opening salvo under questioning from the prosecution.

Mr Avenatti is on trial in Manhattan for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges over claims he stole nearly $300,000 from a $800,000 advance paid to Ms Daniels for her 2018 book Full Disclosure

Ms Daniels, an adult film actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, said she was introduced to Mr Avenatti by another attorney as she wanted to inquire about breaking a non-disclosure agreement with former president Donald Trump.

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Stormy Daniels is sworn in before testifying during the criminal trial of former attorney Michael Avenatti at the United States Courthouse in Manhattan in a courtroom sketch. Picture: Reuters/Jane Rosenberg

Stormy Daniels is sworn in before testifying during the criminal trial of former attorney Michael Avenatti at the United States Courthouse in Manhattan in a courtroom sketch. Picture: Reuters/Jane Rosenberg

Stormy Daniels is sworn in before testifying during the criminal trial of former attorney Michael Avenatti at the United States Courthouse in Manhattan in a courtroom sketch. Picture: Reuters/Jane Rosenberg

Ms Daniels has maintained the had sexual tryst with the former president, which he has denied.

She and Mr Avenatti met at the Waldorf-Astoria in Beverly Hills in February 2018, and signed an attorney-client agreement over lunch the next day.

Ms Daniels said she paid Mr Avenatti an initial fee of $100 and agreed that he would set up a crowdfunded defence fund to raise funds for their case.

Ms Daniels said the fund brought in $650,000, and Mr Avenatti maintained control over it.

Mr Avenatti is expected to cross-examine Ms Daniels, and has warned during legal discussions earlier on Thursday he expects his questioning to last six hours.

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