Another woman has braved the prospect of a lawsuit in order to share her story of having an affair with President Trump, telling CNN she felt compelled to go public despite the attempts made to silence her.
Former Playboy model Karen McDougal spoke publicly for the first time Thursday night about a 10-month affair she said she had with Trump in 2006 and 2007, sparing few details in her interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. The experiences she shared echoed claims made by porn star Stormy Daniels about her own alleged affair with Trump, down to the timing — around the time Trump's son Barron was born. Daniels, who spoke publicly about the affair before signing a $130,000 nondisclosure agreement with Trump's personal attorney, has said her affair took place during an overlapping time period.
There were other similarities. Both women said Trump attempted to pay them for sex. Both women said they met Trump at least once at a private Beverly Hills Hotel bungalow. Both women said Trump didn’t use a condom during sex. And both women said Trump compared them to his daughter Ivanka (who McDougal said she met).
“He’s very proud of Ivanka, as he should be,” McDougal said. “He said I was beautiful like her, and, ‘You’re a smart girl.’ And there wasn’t a lot of comparing, but there was some. I heard a lot about her.”
Unlike Daniels, however, McDougal told Cooper that she was in love with Trump, and that Trump had said he loved her.
“All the time,” McDougal said. “He always told me he loved me. Of course.”
McDougal also said she accompanied Trump to a charity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, where Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — said she first met Trump. Trump and McDougal never discussed whether she was his only mistress, McDougal said, though she assumed at the time that she was.
Cooper frequently asked McDougal about her feelings towards Melania Trump, which led McDougal to choke up. She said Trump once took her to the Trump Tower apartment he shared with Melania Trump, who at that point had just given birth to Trump’s son Barron.
“That just puts it a little stab in your heart and I just couldn’t wait to get out of the apartment,” McDougal said. That guilt led her to eventually end the alleged affair in April 2007. However, McDougal said she is a Republican and ultimately voted for Trump in the 2016 election.
McDougal’s CNN interview came just two days after her announcement that she’s launching a lawsuit against American Media, Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer and other tabloids. In her lawsuit, McDougal accuses American Media, Inc. of locking her into an invalid contract when she agreed to sell them the exclusive rights to her story of her affair with Trump in exchange for $150,000 and frequent media appearances as a health and fitness expert. McDougal also alleges that her lawyer for that contract was secretly in touch with Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen.
American Media, Inc. had allegedly threatened to go after McDougal in court if she spoke publicly about her affair with Trump. In a statement Tuesday, American Media, Inc. said that McDougal is free to answer press inquiries but that their contract with her remains valid.
“There could be a big lawsuit like against me. There could financial ruin,” McDougal told Cooper. “But I feel I had to protect myself. I had to stand up for myself.”