With the stakes so high, Fani Willis gave her unfiltered testimony.

On Thursday afternoon, Fani T. Willis, dressed in a vibrant magenta outfit, entered a Fulton County courtroom alone and declared her readiness to testify. She was cutting off her attorney, who was attempting to persuade the judge that she was not need to testify.

For roughly three hours on Thursday, Ms. Willis, the district attorney in Fulton County, Ga., engaged in the fight of her life from the witness stand to try to salvage the case of her life, the prosecution of former President Donald J. Trump.

Ms. Willis, 52, showed her entire femininity in a visceral performance, both confrontational and peaceful, concentrated and discursive (she preferred Grey Goose vodka over wine). Her terminology ranged from casual (a thousand dollars was “a G”) to precise: “I want to be very clear.”

The defense lawyer interrogating her, Ashleigh Merchant, was accused of lying in court pleadings that accused Ms. Willis of having a disqualifying conflict of interest owing to her intimate involvement with special prosecutor Nathan J. Wade. As her voice approached a yell, mild-mannered judge Scott McAfee requested a five-minute halt to settle things.

Additionally, in response to Steven Sadow's question about whether or not Ms. Willis had communicated with Mr. Wade in 2020, she reprimanded Mr. Trump's legal counsel. Despite Mr. Wade's sickness, she vowed, "I am not going to emasculate a Black man."

She said she would take Mr. Wade to Belize for his 50th birthday after asking him about visiting a tattoo business there earlier in the day. She also stated, in a digression that the attorneys' questions didn't trigger, that she believed Mr. Wade was sexist and that's why they broke up last summer.

She stated, “Mr. Wade is used to women that, uh, as he told me one time: The only thing a woman can do for him is make him a sandwich.” My equality with you would lead to harsh disputes. Man is a friend, not a plan, thus I don't need him.

Her testimony unfolded in a courtroom full of dramatic tension and a strange mix of dread and titillation over the fact that a criminal case against a former president had descended into a melodrama about two prosecutors' love lives, which Ms. Willis insists should never have been public.

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