- Former Playboy model Karen McDougal filed a lawsuit to get out of a gag order she allegedly signed to keep silent about an extramarital affair she says she had with President Donald Trump.
- She joins adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who has also filed a lawsuit to be able to speak about her own alleged affair with Trump.
- Both Daniels and McDougal say Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen was involved in paying them for their silence.
Former Playboy model Karen McDougal filed a lawsuit to get out of a gag order she allegedly signed to keep silent about an extramarital affair she says she had with President Donald Trump.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that McDougal is suing a media company run by a friend of Trump’s in order to get out of the 2016 nondisclosure agreement.
McDougal is now the second woman to file a lawsuit in order to get around a gag order about an alleged affair with Trump. McDougal alleges that she was paid $150,000 by American Media, Inc., parent company of the National Enquirer, to keep quiet about the alleged affair.
Adult film actress and director Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, filed a lawsuit against Trump earlier this month to break her NDA. Trump is counter-suing Daniels for $20 million – the amount his lawyers say is the number of times she broke the agreement.
McDougal claims that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen was secretly involved in talks with the company.
She said she was misled about the contract and payout, and her lawyer is alleging “a multifaceted effort to silence Karen McDougal.”
“The lawsuit filed today aims to restore her right to her own voice,” lawyer Peter Stris told The 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.”
McDougal’s affair story is similar to Daniels’. The Times reports McDougal also allegedly met Trump at a golf tournament in 2006 and at a Beverly Hills hotel. Trump was married to first lady Melania Trump at the time.
American Media bought the exclusive rights to McDougal’s story, The Wall Street Journal reported in 2016. But, the company did not run any stories on the story – a tactic The New Yorker notes media outlets commonly use to kill a story.
The White House claimed the incidents discussed in the document did not happen, with a spokesperson telling The New Yorker, “The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal.”
Like McDougal, Daniels was also offered a payout to keep quiet about her alleged affair, and Cohen paid her $130,000 shortly before Trump launched his 2016 presidential campaign.
Questions have arisen about whether Daniels’ payout constituted a violation of campaign finance laws.