- A New Yorker report details a former Playboy Playmate’s account of an affair with President Donald Trump in 2006, shortly after his youngest son was born.
- The Playmate, Karen McDougal, was reportedly paid $150,000 for the exclusive rights to her story by a tabloid with ties to Trump.
The New Yorker on Friday published an investigation into a former Playmate’s account of a clandestine affair with President Donald Trump, detailing payoffs and secret meet-ups used to keep the infidelity quiet.
The reporter, Ronan Farrow, says he acquired an eight-page document detailing a relationship between Trump and Karen McDougal, the 1998 Playboy Playmate of the Year, that kicked off in 2006 while Trump’s youngest son, Barron, was months old. She said she often met Trump at a bungalow in the Beverly Hills Hotel.
In 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that American Media, the publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid whose CEO is close with Trump, paid $150,000 for the exclusive rights to McDougal’s account then did not publish it – something The New Yorker notes is a common tactic to quash a story.
The New Yorker investigation found that McDougal’s account – and the practices used to keep it out of the press – was similar to those of other women who say they had affairs or sexual encounters with Trump.
One such account, the report says, is from Stephanie Clifford, the porn star known as Stormy Daniels who in a 2011 interview with In Touch Weekly detailed a courtship and sexual relationship with Trump in 2006.
The Journal reported last month that Clifford was paid $130,000 by Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen in 2016 to keep quiet about the affair; The New York Times reported this week that Cohen said he made the payment with his own money.
Clifford recently expressed a desire to talk publicly about her relationship with Trump.
McDougal told Farrow she had come to regret agreeing to sell her story.
“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.”