According to a The New Yorker, a former Playboy Playmate, Karen McDougal who alleged that she had an affair with President Donald Trump more than a decade ago said in a new interview that a purported effort to cover-up the story by the National Enquirer took her “rights away.”
McDougal, said that she felt like she could not so much as even mention Trump’s name after the Enquirer paid $150,000 for her story about the alleged affair and then withheld it from publication.
“At this point I feel I can’t talk about anything without getting into trouble, because I don’t know what I’m allowed to talk about,” she told the publication. “I’m afraid to even mention his name.”
McDougal claims that she had an affair with Trump in 2006, while he was married to his current wife, first lady Melania Trump.
The Wall Street Journal reported in November 2016 that American Media, Inc., the company that owns the Enquirer, paid McDougal $150,000 for her story about the alleged affair with Trump, and then never published it.
Instead, the company reached an agreement with McDougal to author a regular column about aging and fitness, though that deal largely went unfulfilled after Trump won the White House. AMI’s chairman and CEO, David Pecker, is friendly with Trump.
From The New Yorker:
On November 4, 2016, four days before the election, the Wall Street Journal reported that American Media, Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, had paid a hundred and fifty thousand dollars for exclusive rights to McDougal’s story, which it never ran. Purchasing a story in order to bury it is a practice that many in the tabloid industry call “catch and kill.” This is a favorite tactic of the C.E.O. and chairman of A.M.I., David Pecker, who describes the President as “a personal friend.”
A White House spokesperson denied the alleged affair, calling the allegations from McDougal “fake news.”
“This is an old story that is just more fake news,” the spokesman told The New Yorker. “The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal.”
McDougal reportedly recorded her affair with Trump in a handwritten document obtained by The New Yorker. McDougal confirmed to the magazine that the handwriting was hers.
McDougal’s comments on the alleged affair came roughly a month after The Wall Street Journal reported that Michael Cohen, a personal lawyer for Trump, paid adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 not to go public with allegations that she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2005.