Ex-Playboy model who alleges she had affair with Trump sued media company to be released from non-disclosure agreement

The former model wants to speak out

Ilana Kaplan
New York
Tuesday 20 March 2018 20:47
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Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Playboy
Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Playboy

A former Playboy model who alleges she had an affair with Donald Trump has sued the media company that bought her silence.

The model – Karen McDougal – wants to be released from her 2016 legal agreement with the company that owns The National Enquirer, American Media, Inc.

The parent company – whose chief executive David J Pecker is a friend of Trump – paid MS McDougal $150,000 for her silence.

American Media is known for a practice called “catch and kill”, which buys and buries stories that could damage Mr Pecker’s friends and allies

In the lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Ms McDougal claimed that Mr Trump’s lawyer Michael D Cohen, was “secretly involved in her talks” with American Media.

After speaking with The New Yorker last month after the publication got hold of notes she had on Mr Trump, she claims American Media threatened that anymore disclosed information would breach her contract and “cause considerable monetary damages”.

Ms McDougal’s new lawyer Peter K.Stris, told The New York Times that American Media has “a multifaceted effort to silence” Ms McDougal.

“The lawsuit filed today aims to restore her right to her own voice,” he added. “We intend to invalidate the so-called contract that American Media Inc. imposed on Karen so she can move forward with the private life she deserves.”

Ms McDougal is the second woman this month who has come forward looking to challenge Mr Trump’s efforts during his presidential campaign preventing stories about his extramarital affairs from surface.

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Adult entertainment star Stormy Daniels was paid $130,000 for her silence by Trump’s lawyer, Michael D Cohen and has already filed a lawsuit earlier in March.

Ms McDougal’s suit comes in the days leading up to Ms Daniels’ much-anticipated 60 Minutes interview discussing her alleged affair with Mr Trump and the lengths to which Mr Cohen took to buy her silence.

Stormy Daniels lawyer says porn star has been physically threatened over allegations

Both Ms McDougal and Ms Daniels claim their “contracts are invalid” and are trying to find a way around clauses that deem disputes to happen in private proceedings instead of in open court.

Just four days before the 2016 presidential election, Ms Daniels and Ms McDougal’s stories appeared in The Wall Street Journal, but were swallowed by the news cycle of Trump winning the election.

Ms McDougal’s lawsuit also comes the same day that Mr Trump lost a bid to dismiss a defamation lawsuit against Summer Zervos - a former contestant on his reality show The Apprentice who alleges he groped and kissed her back in 2007.

Trump called McDougal a “liar” and denied the claims.

In 2017, she filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump.

American Media did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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