Karen McDougal sues National Enquirer’s parent company
(Newser) – Another alleged former paramour of President Trump is suing in an attempt to break her silence on the affair. This time it’s former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who says she was involved with Trump in 2006 and 2007—around the same time adult film star Stormy Daniels, who filed a similar lawsuit to break her own silence, says she was involved with him. McDougal is suing American Media Inc., which owns the National Enquirer and allegedly paid her $150,000 for exclusive rights to her story—which it then never ran. Her current lawyer tells the New York Times AMI was part of “a multifaceted effort to silence Karen McDougal”; the lawsuit claims Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen (who allegedly paid $130,000 in hush money to Daniels) was secretly involved in the deal.
McDougal says that when she started talking to AMI representatives in 2016, she didn’t know AMI’s CEO, David Pecker, was friends with Trump or that tabloids sometimes “catch and kill” stories to keep them from getting out. She also says she was misled about the nature of the contract and that her former attorney, Keith Davidson, colluded with Cohen and AMI to mislead her, the Washington Post reports. (Davidson also represented Daniels during her $130,000 deal with Cohen.) As Vox puts it, Tuesday “was a bad day in court for Donald Trump’s efforts to silence women”: In addition to McDougal’s suit, a judge ruled Tuesday that Summer Zervos’ defamation lawsuit against Trump can proceed. Zervos is the former Apprentice contestant who sued after Trump denied her claims that he groped her in 2007; Trump’s team had been trying to get the suit dismissed. Also Tuesday, images came out of Daniels taking a lie detector test (which she passed) about her Trump claims, Mother Jones reports.