Karen McDougal, the Playboy Playmate of the Year in 1998, is suing American Media Inc., the owner of the National Enquirer, to get out of a non-disclosure agreement she signed in 2016 that forbade her from talking about the details of an alleged affair she had with President Trump in 2006, The New York Times reports.
The National Enquirer purportedly paid $150,000 for the exclusive rights to Ms. McDougal’s story about her alleged affair with President Donald Trump, but then never ran the feature because AMI’s owner David Packer is a close friend of the president, the lawsuit claims.
On Thursday, McDougal granted CNN’s Anderson Cooper an interview detailing the alleged affair, days after claims surfaced that the president’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. had an affair with Celebrity Apprentice contestant and Danity Kane singer Aubrey O’Day.
However, when the New Yorker reported on a document handwritten by McDougal about her alleged relationship last month, a White House representative issued the following statement: “This is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal.”
McDougal is the second woman (after adult film star Stormy Daniels) to file a lawsuit related to her relationship with the president, and claims she had a 10-month-long affair with him that began in mid-2006 soon after First Lady Melania Trump gave birth to Barron, the Trumps’ only child together.
According to McDougal, she and Trump would see each other whenever he was in Los Angeles to film his reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice and she would fly out to meet him at other events as well.
Trump was allegedly involved with Daniels and McDougal near the same time frame, and McDougal claims she developed feelings for the president during their affair. She admitted that she had fallen in love with him in her interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
McDougal alleges that she and Trump were intimate on their first date and that he attempted to pay her after their tryst. She said she didn’t know how to take the offer and that she was hurt by it and turned it down.
According to McDougal, Trump gave her an apartment in Manhattan for Christmas, but took it back after their affair ended.
While they were together, Trump allegedly invited McDougal to Trump Tower where he gave her a tour of his living quarters, including Melania’s separate bedroom.
McDougal claims she felt uncomfortable, stating, “Doing something wrong is bad enough, and when you’re doing something wrong, and you’re in the middle of somebody else’s home or bed or whatever, that just puts a little old stab in your heart, and I just couldn’t wait to get out of the apartment. I wanted to go back to my hotel room,” although she notes that Trump was charming and charismatic.
McDougal claims that although she felt guilty over the affair and knew that it was wrong, she felt that the two had a real relationship and continued it for 10 months. In her CNN interview, she said “What can you say except I’m sorry? I’m sorry. I wouldn’t want it done to me.”
As with Ms. Daniels, McDougal signed the NDA with Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, but notes in the lawsuit that she was “pressured” into signing it. AMI has denied that it hid any damaging stories about Trump, and the White House has denied that McDougal had an affair with President Trump.