Karen McDougal wants to tell her story.
The former Playboy model who allegedly had an affair with Donald Trump is the second woman in a month to bring suit to break an agreement mandating her silence about a Trump affair, according to the New York Times.
McDougal’s suit is against American Media Inc., parent company of The National Enquirer, which she said paid her $150,000 in 2016 to keep silent about her extramarital affair with Trump over a decade ago. The Enquirer, owned by Trump’s friend David Pecker, used the tactic of buying a story and not running it, known in the tabloid business as "catch and kill."
McDougal claims Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen was secretly involved in her AMI agreement, and that she was misled about the deal. She also asserts AMI threatened her after she talked about the affair to the New Yorker last month, that they warned “any further disclosures would breach Karen’s contract” and “cause considerable monetary damages.”
The filing comes just days before porn star Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, is set to appear on CBS’s “60 Minutes” to discuss her own affair with Trump in 2006, around the time his son Barron was born. Clifford, who said she was paid hush money of $130,000 in late October 2016 by Cohen, sued earlier this month, saying Cohen violated her NDA agreement when he admitted he’d paid her.
The two women have shared strikingly similar details about their alleged affairs, like rendezvous at a Lake Tahoe golf tournament in 2006, dates at swanky venues around Los Angeles, extravagant gifts, and promises of city apartments.
The Wall Street Journal reported on McDougal’s AMI deal a few days before the 2016 presidential election, but the story was drowned out as the hype of Trump’s win dominated national conversation.
“The lawsuit filed today aims to restore her right to her own voice,” McDougal’s lawyer, Peter Stris, told the New York Times. “We intend to invalidate the so-called contract that American Media Inc. imposed on Karen so she can move forward with the private life she deserves.”