When Donald Trump Sparked Rumors Of Dating Playboy Model Karen McDougal

When Donald Trump Sparked Rumors Of Dating Playboy Model Karen McDougal
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Scott Olson

When the indictment against former president Donald Trump was made public in April this year, it was made clear that there was more to the story than just the hush money that was paid to Stormy Daniels. Another woman had also been paid for her silence. The person in question? Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Sean Rayford
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Sean Rayford

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The Manhattan DA's office had been looking into a scheme that involved the distribution of hush money to two separate women before the 2016 election. These payments, according to the indictment, were part of a larger plan to bury the women's claims about Trump in order to prevent their stories from harming his chances of defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, per CNBC. As such, the money was paid not just to Stormy Daniels but also to Playboy model Karen McDougal.



Trump was accused of having an affair with McDougal between 2006 and 2007, when he was still married to his first wife, Ivana. McDougal allegedly received a payment of $150,000 after Trump started running for office. These payments, the prosecution claimed at the time, were part of a 'catch and kill' effort by Trump and others to influence voters and hide damaging information from them.

As per the same CNBC article, American Media Inc., a pro-Trump publishing company, also paid $30,000 to a former doorman for Trump Tower who claimed to have information regarding Trump having a child out of marriage. Former Trump attorney and legal fixer Michael Cohen previously testified that he carried out the president's instructions when setting up the payment to McDougal and a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to buy her silence, as per The Guardian. Cohen and at least one other member of the campaign' met with David Pecker, the CEO of AMI, in August 2015. 

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Pecker 'offered to help deal with negative stories' about Trump throughout the campaign. The CEO also said he could purchase the rights to damaging stories about Trump to stop them from being published. He then put this plan into action when a lawyer for McDougal submitted her story to the National Enquirer. Prosecutors claim that in August 2016, AMI gave McDougal $150,000, which was 'substantially more money than AMI otherwise would have paid,' for the rights to the story of 'her relationship with ‘any then-married man.''

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Although it was agreed that AMI would put McDougal on magazine covers, the company actually had no plans to run her story. “Despite the cover and article features to the agreement, AMI’s principal purpose in agreeing was to suppress the model’s story to prevent it from influencing the election,” prosecutors claimed.




Corporations are prohibited by US law from spending money to influence elections in collaboration with a candidate or campaign. AMI's payment to McDougal, according to the prosecution, amounted to a covert in-kind donation to Trump's campaign. Trump was accused of 34 felony counts of falsifying company records. On April 4, when he was charged with all counts, he entered a not-guilty plea.

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