New Yorker: Ex-Playmate alleges Trump system for covering up affairs
A former Playboy model who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump beginning in 2006 is going public with a description of Trump’s alleged system for concealing affairs.
In an eight-page, handwritten document that The New Yorker obtained, Karen McDougal detailed her alleged affair with Trump for nine months from June 2006 to April 2007, when Trump was two years into his marriage with Melania Trump, the future first lady. The document was provided to The New Yorker by McDougal’s friend, but she confirmed to the magazine that the handwriting in the document is hers.
The magazine’s story was published on Friday.
The document describes how Trump allegedly carried out his affair with McDougal — paying for dinner in a private bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel, offering her money after the first time they had sex and reimbursing her for travel.
“No paper trails for him,” McDougal wrote, according to The New Yorker.
A White House spokesperson denied the affair in a statement to the magazine.
“This is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal,” the spokesperson said.
Trump also made comments McDougal found disrespectful, including calling her mother, who was close to Trump’s age, an “old hag,” and a lewd, stereotypical reference to black men’s genitals, The New Yorker reported, citing multiple sources.
After ending the affair, McDougal signed a limited life-story rights agreement in August 2016, granting American Media, Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer — an outlet that’s published material favorable to Trump — exclusive ownership of her story for $150,000.
However, the company — run by David Pecker, a friend of Trump’s — never ran her story and, according to The New Yorker, instead used the purchase to kill the piece. The company told the magazine it did not print it because it did not find McDougal’s story to be credible.
Jerry George, a former senior editor for American Media, Inc., told The New Yorker that Pecker routinely buys and kills stories, and also protects Trump, who he considers a friend.
“We never printed a word about Trump without his approval,” George told The New Yorker.
The company, according to the report, also agreed to publish regular columns by McDougal on aging and wellness, and to “prominently feature” her on two magazine covers.
McDougal told the The New Yorker she regretted signing the contract.
“It took my rights away,” McDougal said. “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. I’m afraid to even mention his name.”
McDougal told the magazine she hopes speaking out would convince others to avoid signing similar agreements.
According to the magazine, McDougal, a Republican, was at first reluctant to speak about her alleged affair during the presidential campaign, fearing that Trump supporters might accuse her of fabricating her account or harming her or her family. She told The New Yorker she wanted to avoid “(influencing) anybody’s election” or receiving “death threats on my head.”
The Wall Street Journal, however, did publish a story about the alleged affair and the arrangement with the National Enquirer days before the 2016 election.
The story’s publication comes after Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, said he paid $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford, a porn star who goes by the name Stormy Daniels, ahead of the 2016 election. Clifford allegedly had a sexual encounter with the President before his time in office, though Cohen said Trump “vehemently denies” any encounter between the two.
Like McDougal, Clifford was barred from telling her story but because she signed a non-disclosure agreement. A manager for Clifford has claimed the agreement is no longer valid because of Cohen’s disclosure about the payment.
Clifford’s attorney, Keith Davidson, was also retained by McDougal to negotiate her deal with AMI, though he no longer represents McDougal.
Trump has previously faced accusations of having several extramarital affairs before he was elected President. He has also been accused by at least 15 women of a wide range of sexual misconduct accusations, including sexual assault, sexual harassment and lewd behavior. Trump has denied the allegations and at one point threatened to sue his accusers, though he has yet to do so.
This story has been updated.