A report has emerged that the National Enquirer allegedly paid $150,000 to an ex-Playboy model to cover up her affair with Trump.
According to NY Daily News, the company that owns the National Enquirer cut a deal with Karen McDougal, the 1998 Playmate of the Year, to run the story and then did not publish it. The story would have revealed the alleged sexual affair that McDougal had with the real estate magnate between 2006 and 2007, a year after Trump married Melania.
In a written statement, American Media Inc., owner of the National Enquirer, revealed that the payment made to the 45-year-old former model was for magazine covers and her fitness columns that would feature in the publication for the next two years.
American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker, who is a staunch supporter of Donald Trump for presidency, cajoled the 1998 Playmate into selling him the rights to her story alleging that she was in a consensual sexual relationship with the Manhattan billionaire just a year after he married his third wife, Melania.
Pecker purportedly paid McDougal the hefty sum to sign the dotted lines to a life-long contract stopping her from sharing the story with any other media outlet. The 45-year-old was under the impression her story was going to be published when she shared it.
Pecker admitted to purchasing exclusive rights to the story, but deflected questions over why he refused to publish the story in light of sexual allegations against the Republican Party nominee and the 2005 lewd tape leak of the billionaire saying he could “grab women by the p***y” because he was a celebrity.
David Pecker allowed Trump to write for the National Enquirer and talk about his mandate when the Republican primaries were ramping up last year. The Enquirer had endorsed Trump back in 2011, imploring him to run for president.
Pecker’s publication has also run negative articles and character attack pieces against Trump’s opponents. The tabloid ran a story accusing Dr. Ben Carson of forgetting a sponge in a patient’s brain and fingered Ted Cruz’s father as a suspect in President Kennedy’s assassination.
Pecker said he was holding back on doing the consensual tryst story because he wanted to investigate further. He referenced his coverage of Trump’s romantic affair with Marla Maples as proof of the tabloid’s journalistic integrity.
Karen McDougal, an Indiana native, had confided in friends before selling her story to David Pecker to dating Trump for about a year. One of McDougal’s friends recalled accompanying the 1998 Playmate to the Miss Universe pageant Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in 2006, at Trump’s behest. According to the friend, his limousine picked them up at McDougal’s house and he personally followed them home after the event ended.
A month before Karen sold the rights to her story to American Media Inc., she was in talks with ABC News. However, under the directions of her lawyer, Keith Davidson, she agreed to sell her story to Pecker’s company.
Davidson has also represented former adult film star Stephanie Clifford, who was in contract talks with ABC’s Good Morning America to talk about her past relationship with Mr. Trump. The adult film star, whose professional name is Stormy Daniels, abruptly severed ties with the network, refusing to tell her story.
David Pecker’s relationship with Trump goes back to the ’90s when he was the chief executive of Hachette Filipacchi Magazines and published a magazine called Trump Style for the billionaire. The magazine, which was published every quarter, was meant to be given to all guests at Trump’s hotels.
Some people are calling the Karen McDougal story a classic case of “catch and kill.” Pecker simply bought the rights to the story forever, to stop it from getting into the wrong hands. This prevents McDougal from going on record and telling anybody else of what transpired between her and Mr. Trump.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]