This Karen McDougal & Trump Update Means You Might Finally Hear About Their Alleged Affair
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that a legal contract concerning Karen McDougal’s alleged affair with Donald Trump is no longer in effect. Now that the former Playboy model is out of the binding agreement with the company American Media, her lawyer told The Times that McDougal will be free to speak about her alleged affair with the president, which Trump has denied through the White House.
The agreement to release McDougal from the contract under American Media took place on Wednesday and arrives with an important reminder. While McDougal will be free to discuss her alleged affair with Trump, she will not have the legal power to file a lawsuit against the president regarding the subject.
For reference, American Media is the parent company of conservative tabloid paper National Enquirer. In 2016, the company obtained the legal rights to McDougal's account of an alleged tryst with Trump but reportedly never published it. In exchange for keeping the story out of its print, the company paid McDougal $150,000 and branded her as a fitness expert in the pages of the National Enquirer.
In March, McDougal filed a lawsuit against American Media in order to terminate her agreement with the media entity, accusing it of silencing her from speaking about her alleged affair with Trump. The company responded to McDougal's accusations and told CNN that the former Playboy model "has been free to respond to press inquiries about her relationship with President Trump since 2016." The company denied that it ever "silenced" McDougal.
In an official statement after McDougal filed the lawsuit against American Media, the Los Angeles Times reported that the company said that media organizations "have a First Amendment right not to publish, and cannot be punished for exercising that right."
In response to the American Media's statement, McDougal's lawyer, Peter Stris tweeted, "As we have learned through brave truth-tellers like Ms. McDougal, the tabloid went to great lengths to silence her and others, and they are now attempting to silence her again with the absurd claim that their own free speech was violated."
The report of the settlement for McDougal arrives almost a month after she went on CNN to discuss her alleged affair with the president. While speaking to Anderson Cooper, McDougal said that the affair took place prior to when Trump became the president of the United States and that Trump had reportedly tried to pay her in exchange for having sex with him for the first time.
McDougal said she was shocked. "I looked at him and I said, 'That's not me. I'm not that kind of girl,'" McDougal told Cooper. She added, "And he said 'Oh,' and he said, 'You're really special.' And I was like, 'Thank you.'" She also told CNN that she felt the alleged relationship felt substantial; "there was a real relationship there," McDougal said. She called Trump "an interesting person" who was "brilliant." And when Cooper asked McDougal if Trump had ever expressed romantic sentiments like saying "I love you," the former Playboy model said, "All the time. He always told me he loved me."
As part of the settlement, American Media will be entitled to "up to $75,000" of potential profits from McDougal's story, according to the New York Times. But that's not a worry for the ex-model and her legal team. Her attorney Stris told the publication that it's a "total win." He added, "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, too, expressed joy to the newspaper and said, "Today I'm doing my victory dance."