- Former Playboy model Karen McDougal has been freed from her contract with a tabloid-news company that prevented her from talking freely about a 10-month affair she said she had with Donald Trump.
- McDougal will be allowed to keep the $US150,000 payment she received from American Media, Inc. for her story.
- She says she has no plans to sell the rights to her story.
Former Playboy model Karen McDougal has been freed from her contract with a tabloid-news company that prevented her from talking freely about an alleged affair with Donald Trump, according a New York Times report on Wednesday.
American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer, agreed to release McDougal from a 2016 agreement, in which she alleged that David Pecker, the chairman of American Media, and longtime friend of Trump, misled her into signing a contract for her story, in exchange for $US150,000. The story on her alleged affair with Trump never aired, The Times said.
McDougal said that the legal fight has been a “wild ride,” and was not anticipating selling the rights to her story: “It’s a one step at a time for me,” she told The Times. “Today, I’m doing my victory dance.”
The settlement reportedly allows American Media to receive up to $US75,000 in future profits from McDougal’s story and keep the rights to her photographs from the initial story. In return, McDougal will be allowed to keep the initial $US150,000 payment, and speak freely about her alleged affair with Trump.
“It’s a total win,” Peter Stris, McDougal’s attorney, said to The Times. “We got everything we were fighting for – she got out of the contract, gets the life rights back and owes [American Media] nothing more.”
McDougal recounted her alleged affair in a lengthy interview on CNN in March. The affair, which started in 2006, lasted 10 months and consensual, according to McDougal.
“He’s very charming, he’s really sweet,” McDougal told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. “I was attracted to him. I liked his charisma.”
“When I got with him … there was a real relationship there,” McDougal said. “There were real feelings between the two of us, not just myself, and not just him.”
Trump was married to his third wife, Melania Trump, who gave birth to their son, Baron, the same year of the alleged affair.
McDougal said, recalling the alleged affair, she wishes it never happened: “When I look back, where I was back then, I know it’s wrong,” she said. “I’m really sorry for that. I know it’s the wrong thing to do. But back in those days … I was a different girl, I had fun, I was in the Playboy scene, I was just enjoying life as much as I could.”
McDougal is at least the second woman to file a lawsuit to get out of a nondisclosure agreement with Trump on such a matter, after porn star Stormy Daniels filed a similar claim, stemming from what she said was a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.
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