The National Enquirer paid a former Playboy model $150,000 for her account of having had an affair with Republican nominee Donald Trump a decade ago — and then never ran the story, according the the Wall Street Journal.
The company has close ties to the real estate mogul, who is good friends with the outlet’s Executive Editor David Pecker. It only makes sense then that they would pay off a woman making allegations against Trump at this time, especially as he has been under fire for weeks after being accused of sexual assault and harassment from more than ten women.
The newspaper reportedly agreed to run former playmate Karen McDougal’s story, which they discussed in early August. However, the National Enquirer has yet to publish anything about the alleged “consensual romantic relationship” that McDougal had with Trump in 2006 when he was already married to Melania.
According to WSJ, the newspaper said that it hadn’t paid McDougal the $150,000 for her Trump story, but rather for “her fitness columns and magazine covers as well as exclusive life rights to any relationship she has had with a then-married man.”
The company’s statement also said that American Media Inc., which owns the Enquirer, “has not paid people to kill damaging stories about Mr. Trump.”
While there was no mention of Trump by name in McDougal’s written agreement with American Media Inc., the agreement did say that the publisher had full rights to “any romantic, personal and/or physical relationship McDougal has ever had with any then-married man.”