Amid all the fuss about Stormy Daniels’ alleged 2006 sexual encounters with a married Donald Trump, a related scandal has been bubbling in the background. This would be the story of former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, who was recently the subject of a Ronan Farrow investigative report in the New Yorker. Farrow relayed how McDougal had sold her account of an alleged 9-month affair with Trump to American Media, Inc. (A.M.I.), which publishes Trump-friendly tabloid National Enquirer, for $150,000.
The company then did not print — in other words, they buried — McDougal’s story, and she had legally signed away her right to talk elsewhere about the alleged affair. Now, the New York Times reports that McDougal has sued the publisher in an effort to talk freely about her relations with Trump, which she claims also happened in 2006, the year after Trump married Melania. McDougal also says that Trump’s shady personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, secretly had a hand in negotiating her deal with the publisher:
Ms. McDougal, in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims that Mr. Cohen was secretly involved in her talks with A.M.I., and that the media company and her lawyer at the time misled her about the deal. She also asserts that after she spoke with The New Yorker last month after it obtained notes she kept on Mr. Trump, A.M.I. warned that “any further disclosures would breach Karen’s contract” and “cause considerable monetary damages.”
In an email to The New York Times, her new lawyer, Peter K. Stris, accused A.M.I. of “a multifaceted effort to silence Karen McDougal.”
Since Cohen was involved with the transaction, there’s sure to be more drama to come on his end, but the crux of McDougal’s lawsuit is that she was never made aware of the tabloid’s common practice of “catch and kill” — by which they purchase stories and sit on them, just to guarantee that they won’t ever be published elsewhere. Further, McDougal says that she had no idea that David Pecker, who runs A.M.I, enjoys a tight friendship with Trump.
Will we soon see a 60 Minutes interview with McDougal? That remains to be seen, but Stormy Daniels’ interview is full speed ahead for March 25. And on the subject of Daniels, the Wall Street Journal has obtained results on a polygraph test she took over various claims. While these results are not admissible in a court of law, it’s notable that the test stated, “CONCLUSION: In the opinion of this examiner Ms. Clifford is truthful about having unprotected vaginal intercourse with Donald Trump in July 2006.” Enjoy?