Karen McDougal, a Playboy Playmate who claims that she had a year-long affair with President Donald Trump, is suing to declare a non-disclosure agreement she signed ‘void.’
McDougal, who says she met Trump at a 2006 party at the Playboy Mansion and had a 10-month affair with him, claims in the suit she was ‘pressured’ into signing the deal by American Media Inc. and by her own lawyer.
The suit, reported by the New York Times, claims the company, which publishes the National Enquirer, worked ‘secretly’ with Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen to engineer the agreement.
Under the deal, she got a $150,00 payment – shared with her lawyers – and what she believed to be the promise of magazine cover stories and fitness columns. However the agreement barred her from discussing any relationship with Trump.
Karen McDougal (pictured with Donald Trump in 2006 above) says she met the future president at a Playboy Mansion party in 2006, shortly after his wife Melania had given birth to their son Barron
Her suit argues the that the agreement is ‘void due to both fraud and illegality,’ and seeks to restore her ability to talk about the alleged affair.
‘The agreement is contrary to the basic principles of law, fairness, and the public interest,’ it maintains.
Earlier this month, porn star Stormy Daniels filed suit in the same court to get relief from a non-disclosure agreement that gave her a $130,000 payment.
Daniels signed her NDA with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, referred to in the McDougal suit as Trump’s ‘personal fixer.’
As the suit puts it, ‘For several years, Ms. McDougal led a “Hollywood” life, attending events and parties as both honored guest and hostess. During that time, Ms. McDougal had a 10-month relationship with Mr. Trump.’
McDougal (above in 1998) detailed the affair in an eight-page letter obtained by The Ne Yorker
After another former Playboy playmate Carrie Stevens revealed the relationship on Twitter days after Trump got the GOP nomination, McDougal decided she did not want to ‘sit back and wait to become tabloid fodder.’
‘If the story was going to become national news, she wanted to be the one to tell it to ensure that the account was accurate and not lurid grist for the tabloid mill,’ according to the suit.
She hired attorney Keith Davidson, who according to the suit was ‘working closely with representatives for Mr. Trump while pretending to advocate on her behalf.’
The suit then argues that McDougal was involved in a ‘catch and kill’ arrangement, where outlets sometimes buy a story for the purpose of killing it.
McDougal, who says she met Trump at a 2006 party at the Playboy Mansion and had a 10-month affair with him, claims in the suit she was ‘pressured’ into signing the deal by American Media Inc. and by her own lawyer
American Media Inc denied hiding damaging stories about GOP nominee.
The suit say Davidson told his client that the National Enquirer would not publish the story because AMI’s owner, David Pecker, is ‘close personal friends with Mr. Trump.’
What followed was the $150,000 deal, where her lawyers got to keep 45 per cent.
The suit, filed by her new legal team, argues that AMI and Davidson ‘failed to tell Ms. McDougal that the contract’s fine print did not actually obligate AMI’ to run fitness columns by her or put her on magazine covers.
She was ‘pressured’ into signing it, according to her suit.
Chairman and CEO of American Media David Pecker (C) and his wife Karen Pecker (L) and Playboy playmate Miss November 2001 Lindsey Vuolo (R) attends the 50th anniversary of the Playboy Club & Playboy Bunny at Juliet Supper Club on June 10, 2010 in New York City. American Media Inc denied hiding damaging stories about GOP nominee
David Pecker during The 50th Anniversary of Ferrari in the United States at Lever House in New York City, New York
Melania (above in October 2007) had just given birth to son Barron when the alelegd affair began
She hired a pro bono attorney, Ted Boutros, and negotiated an amendment to her August 2016 non-disclosure agreement allowing her to respond to ‘legitimate press inquiries’ about her alleged relationship. But the suit calls it ‘another trick to designed to silence her.’
The suit also says that AMI hired a PR-team who ghost-wrote her responses, including to the New Yorker. Among the responses they fed her was one saying, ‘I don’t really like to talk about things other than my interests and passions – and that’s health, wellness, etc., etc.!!’
Another response read: ‘I have no desire in discussing anything that is not directly tied to my passions of beauty and health, so thank you for asking, but I see no need to comment on rumors and speculation.’
McDougal filed the suit in Superior Court in Los Angeles, the same court where Stormy Daniels’ attorney filed
The suit claims McDougal and Trump had a 10-month relationship
The suit calls Trump lawyer Michael Cohen an ‘agent for the Trump campaign’ and defends McDougal’s ‘right to speak’ despite the NDA
The lawsuit comes weeks after McDougaltold The New Yorker of details about how she and President Trump met back in 2006 at a party that was hosted by Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion.
President Trump took an immediate liking to McDougal she later wrote in her journal, noting that one of the magazine’s mrketing executives joked: ‘Wow, he was all over you – I think you could be his next wife.’
His third wife Melania was back in New York with the couple’s three-month old Barron at the time, and shortly after the party McDougal was invited to have dinner with President Trump in his private bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
That encounter was also detailed in her journal, with McDougal writing that it culminated with the pair’s first sexual encounter.
When they were done, Trump offered to give McDougal money.
The suit claims McDougal’s lawyer worked ‘secretly’ with Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen to engineer the agreement
‘He offered me money,’ wrote McDougal in her journal.
‘I looked at him (+ felt sad) + said, “No thanks – I’m not ‘that girl.” I slept w/you because I like you – NOT for money’”- He told me “you are special.”‘
McDougal, who was the Playmate of the Month for December 1997 and later Playmate of the Year for 1998, said she was drawn to Trump’s personality above all else.
‘I was so nervous! I was into his intelligence + charm. Such a polite man,’ she wrote in her journal.
McDougal began to see Trump whenever he was in Los Angeles, which at the time was quite often due to his work on The Apprentice.
It would always be at the same bungalow and President Trump would always have the same meal said McDougal, who was also quite impressed by the fact that he never drank alcohol.
The affair soon moved out of the bungalow and into the real world however, with McDougal claiming she met Trump’s children, got a private tour of his New York City residence and began flying around the country so the two could be together.
Playboy model Karen McDougal (pictured in 2010) claimed she had a consensual relationship with Donald Trump over several months beginning in 2006
McDougal (second from left) with Hugh Hefner, fellow bunnies Christine Santiago and Julie Cialini, and George Maloof (top right)
The affair would ultimately last 10 months, and it would be 10 years after it ended that McDougal found herself silenced after signing a $150,000 deal with media company AMI, which is owned by President Trump’s close friend David Pecker.
President Trump has denied the affair through a spokesperson, with the White House stating: ‘This is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal.’
McDougal was Playmate of the year in 1998
One such event was the Lake Tahoe golf tournament – the same place where Trump allegedly began an affair with pornstar Stormy Daniels that same year.
McDougal claims that the relationship began to fall apart when Trump began making racially charged comments about her friendship with an African American man. He would reportedly tell her that she liked ‘the big black d**k.’
She also became increasingly concerned about what her mother would think of her lifestyle.
In April 2007, after ten months, she finally ended the affair.
McDougal, the 1998 Playmate of the Year and runner up Playmate of the 90s, said she sold her story to the National Enquirer’s publishing company, according to the Wall Street Journal, who first broke the story around the time of the election after reviewing the details of her contract.
But the National Enquirer never published McDougal’s allegations, and were using the contract to instead operate as an NDA to ensure McDougal kept quiet about the affair according to the report.
McDougal says she and Trump had a nine-month relationship in 2006, which began after meeting at a party at the Playboy Mansion
The National Enquirer’s publishing company paid McDougal $150,000 for her story about having an affair with Trump (left) while he was married to his wife Melania (right) – but never ran it, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
McDougal and American Media Inc., which owns the National Enquirer, agreed to the transaction in early August, the Wall Street Journal reported.
American Media Inc. said in a statement the $150,000 was payment for exclusive life rights to any story related to a relationship McDougal may have had with a married man – and for fitness columns written by her.
The contract, according to the Wall Street Journal, kept McDougal from disclosing her story on other outlets and established damages of at least $150,000 if she shared her account elsewhere.
But American Media Inc. didn’t plan on publishing the story, even though McDougal expected it to run, people familiar with the situation told the Wall Street Journal.
‘AMI has not paid people to kill damaging stories about Mr Trump,’ the company said in the statement.
Meanwhile, McDougal admits she’s nervous about finally sharing her story. But says she was inspired to come forward after Stormy Daniels made her affair public.
And she hopes to use her story to inspire other women to think before signing agreements that could force them into silence.
McDougal, pictured with Hugh Hefner, won Playmate of the Year in 1998 (pictured)
Trump, who had been married to model Melania for around two years in 2006, would also fly her around the country to various events where he was attending, McDougal claims (McDougal pictured at the annual Playboy Golf Scramble championship finals at Lost Canyons Golf Club, 2007 in Simi Valley, California)
The National Enquirer has supported Trump throughout the presidential campaign.
American Media Inc CEO David Pecker told the Wall Street Journal in a statement it was known that he and Trump are friends.
But he used the National Enquirer’s coverage of Trump’s affair with Marla Maples when he was married to his first wife Ivana was a proof of the publication’s independence.
McDougal told several friends that she had a relationship with Trump lasting about 10 months, people familiar with her account said.