A former Playboy Playmate said she had a nine-month affair with Donald Trump two years into his marriage with his wife, Melania, according to a story published Friday in The New Yorker.
The woman sold her story for $150,000 to the publisher of the National Enquirer, which never ran the piece, the story said.
The magazine said it obtained eight pages of handwritten notes written by model Karen McDougal in which she provides detailed descriptions of the consensual affair. The magazine reported the affair allegedly occurred between June 2006 and April 2007. The Trumps were married in 2005.
McDougal, a Republican, said she often would visit the future president in a private bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel. During their first encounter, Trump paid for her meal and then offered her cash after they had sex, the magazine reported.
“We talked for a couple hours — then, it was “ON”! We got naked + had sex,” McDougal wrote in a note provided to The New Yorker by her friend John Crawford. “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, a former Playmate of the Year, told the magazine she had found God and now regrets the relationship with Trump, the magazine said. McDougal confirmed the note was her handwriting but declined to discuss its contents, citing a confidentiality agreement with the Enquirer’s parent company, The New Yorker said.
A White House representative denied the story, telling The New Yorker the allegations were an “old story that is just more fake news. The president says he never had a relationship with McDougal.”
The Wall Street Journal reported previously that on Nov. 4, 2016, just before the presidential election, American Media Inc., the Enquirer’s publisher, purchased exclusive rights to publish McDougal’s story. The story never ran, with the company saying the allegations were not credible, The New Yorker reported.
The Enquirer, run by Trump friend David Pecker, has consistently run stories favorable to Trump.
A.M.I. reportedly agreed to publish an aging-and-fitness column by McDougal as part of the agreement and to feature her on magazine covers, The New Yorker said. Those promises she said, were not fulfilled, and she now regrets signing the deal.
“It took my rights away,” McDougal said, while declining to discuss details of the affair with the magazine. “At this point I feel I can’t talk about anything without getting into trouble, because I don’t know what I’m allowed to talk about. I’m afraid to even mention his name.”
In a statement, A.M.I. told The New Yorker that it had no leverage over Trump. “The suggestion that AMI holds any influence over the President of the United States, while flattering, is laughable,” the company said.
The story comes as Trump continues to face questions about an alleged affair with Stephanie Clifford, a porn star who uses the stage name Stormy Daniels, during that same period.
Trump has denied having sex with Clifford although his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, recently confirmed that he paid the porn star $130,000 out of his own pocket just before Election Day.