Donald Trump allegedly had an affair with a former Playboy model while he was married to Melania Trump. According to The Wall Street Journal, the tabloid National Enquirer paid the model, Karen McDougal, in excess of $150,000 for the details of the story, which she reportedly furnished to the outlet. However, the tabloid decided against publishing the story because the owner of the umbrella company that National Enquirer is a part of, David Pecker, is a good friend of Trump’s.
McDougal, who was 1998 Playmate of the Year, claims that she had a romantic affair with the real estate mogul from 2006 to 2007, while Trump was married to his third wife Melania.
National Enquirer Shielded Donald Trump From Playboy Model’s Affair Allegation – WSJ https://t.co/aS938gYNpe
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) November 5, 2016
According to the report, McDougal expected the story to be published after having allegedly provided the details of her affair with Donald Trump. However, American Media Inc., which owns the National Enquirer, thought it best not to publish the story to preserve its owner’s friendly relationship with Trump. The two have been long-time friends, and the National Enquirer has pushed all its weight behind Trump during the current presidential campaign. It has taken to publishing negative stories about his opponents, and has published columns by Donald Trump himself, including two recent ones which were titled “I am the only one who can make America great again!” and “Donald Trump: The Man Behind the Legend!”
When contacted, American Media Inc. told WSJ that it had paid Karen McDougal $150,000, but for “two years’ worth of her fitness columns and magazine covers as well as exclusive life rights to any relationship she has had with a then-married man.”
But the company denies that man was, in fact, Donald Trump.
The Trump campaign responded by saying that they had no idea that National Enquirer intended to run such a story, and called the allegations of the Donald Trump affair “totally untrue.”
“We have no knowledge of any of this,” Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, told WSJ.
David Pecker said in a written statement that there is no secret that he is good friends with the Republican nominee, but denied his company had ever paid model Karen McDougal for a Trump affair story. He also drew attention to National Enquirer’s earlier coverage of Donald Trump’s affair with Marla Maples while he was still married to his first wife.
“That in itself speaks volumes about our commitment to investigative reporting,” Pecker said.
However, McDougal maintains that she had an affair with Donald Trump and has reportedly disclosed many details to several of her close friends. A friend of the model told WSJ that the two of them had attended the Miss Universe pageant at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in 2006 as Trump’s guests.
It is also reported that McDougal was in talks with producers at ABC News to reveal her affair with Trump, but finally decided to sign a contract with American Media Inc. instead.
“I did indeed represent Ms. McDougal and currently represent Ms. McDougal in her negotiations with American Media Inc. to provide services to them,” said Keith Davidson, the former Playboy model’s attorney.
Stephanie Clifford, a former adult-film actress, also claims to have had an affair with Donald Trump and was represented by the same Keith Davidson. She had reportedly been in talks with ABC’s Good Morning America to disclose the details of an affair she had with Trump, but cut off her contact midway for unknown reasons.
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