Magazine obtains ex-playmate's account of Trump affair
NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump had a nine-month extramarital affair with the 1998 Playboy Playmate of the year beginning in 2006, showing the woman his wife's bedroom in Trump Tower and bringing her to his private bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel, according to the woman's eight-page, handwritten account of the relationship obtained by The New Yorker magazine.
The woman, Karen McDougal, confirmed in the story published online today she wrote the account but said she was constrained in what else she could say publicly about Trump because she'd signed a confidentiality agreement.
The affair ended in part after McDougal started feeling guilty about it and after Trump made an offensive comment about her mother's age as well as a vulgar remark about the anatomy of black men, the magazine reported.
The story said McDougal was paid $150,000 during the 2016 presidential campaign for the rights to her story of an affair with any "then-married man" by the supermarket tabloid National Enquirer, which never ran it.
Just before Election Day, The Wall Street Journal reported the tabloid, whose publisher, David Pecker, is a longtime friend of Trump's, had paid for McDougal's story but wasn't printing it, a tabloid industry practice known as "catch and kill."
Former staffers at American Media Inc., the company that publishes the Enquirer and other gossip sites, have told The Associated Press the company often bought the rights to unflattering stories about certain celebrities. The practice, described by six former employees who had participated in such deals, could give Pecker leverage over celebrities so that he could elicit future favors, such as appearing on his magazines' covers.
The former staffers spoke on condition of anonymity because they had signed nondisclosure agreements barring them from disclosing company practices.