Karen McDougal files lawsuit to discuss alleged Trump affair
21 March, 2018, 08:21 | Author: Charlene Valdez
The National Enquirer - whose parent company, American Media, Inc., is helmed by Trump ally David J. Pecker - purchased the exclusive rights to McDougal's story on the alleged affair in 2016 and subsequently shelved it in a practice known as "catch and kill". She says she's been threatened with "financial ruin" if she does not honor the agreement and claims the publisher has profited from her situation by giving "reporters false information about Ms. McDougal, her relationship with Mr. Trump, and its own machinations to bind her to silence".
In her legal claim Ms McDougal also alleged that Michael Cohen, Mr Trump's personal lawyer, had been secretly involved in her talks with AMI, the magazine's owners. However, no articles about the alleged affair have been published by American Media and now McDougal is suing to be released from a clause in the contract requiring her silence on the issue.
The White House has declined to say whether Trump knew about Cohen's $130,000 arrangement with Daniels, though the notion that Trump would have been unaware strains credulity.
McDougal says her affair with Trump started to become public after another former Playboy model, Carrie Stevens, spilled the beans about McDougal's relationship with Trump on May 7, 2016, in a series of public comments on Twitter.
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The lawsuit alleges that McDougal was "duped" by her then-lawyer, Keith Davidson, into signing the agreement.
McDougal's 23-page lawsuit comes on the heels of efforts by adult film star Stormy Daniels to get out of a similar hush agreement.
AMI officials could not be reached for immediate comment. She claims they paid her $150,000 for the story of her affair only to never publish it.
The news of McDougal's suit came as NY judge allowed a defamation case brought by Summer Zervos, who has accused Trump of sexual assault, to move forward by denying a defense motion to dismiss the case.
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McDougal filed her suit just as Clifford is about to make her "60 Minutes" debut, which, according to The Washington Post, is tentatively scheduled to air this Sunday. She says when she renewed negotiations in 2016, she was informed of Pecker's friendship and the idea AMI would buy her story but not run it.
McDougal claims to have flown from Arizona to LA where she was interviewed for hours by AMI CEO Dylan Howard about the alleged affair.
The model - who last month told The New Yorker that the purported coverup took her took her "rights away" - also claimed that American Media warned her that further disclosures would break her contract and "cause considerable monetary damages". Under the agreement, AMI was allegedly required to run more than 100 editorial pieces and at least two covers featuring her as part of campaign to promote her fitness model career.
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