Two of the scandals swirling around President Donald appear to have collided in a blockbuster new book by investigative reporter Ronan Farrow.
Trump's relationship with American Media Incorporated (AMI), which owned the National Enquirer supermarket tabloid, has been under focus for a $150,000 hush money payment to former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal.
Trump has also faced ongoing scrutiny for his longtime friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
The relationship between the two scandals was examined in the new book Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators.
A new story in Newsweek reports the book "claims that American Media Inc. (AMI), the former publisher of the National Enquirer, tried to help Donald Trump bury allegations he raped a teenager in 1994."
"Farrow claims in the book that AMI CEO David Pecker was in close contact with Trump when the rape allegations were made public in a 2016 lawsuit, and that then-National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard assured Trump's personal lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, 'that they would track down the woman with the rape allegation and see what they could do about her," Newsweek reported. "An AMI spokesperson told Newsweek Tuesday that Farrow's claims are 'completely untrue.'"
The allegations in the lawsuit are shocking.
"At the crux of the lawsuit filed against Trump in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election were claims that Trump raped a woman when she was 13 years old in 1994," the report noted.
"The anonymous plaintiff—identified only as "Katie Johnson" in an initial legal filing that was dismissed in California, and "Jane Doe" in two subsequent legal filings in New York—said that she was raped by Trump during a party hosted by the now-deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein at his New York City apartment," Newsweek reported. "In the third and final lawsuit, Doe alleged she had numerous sexual encounters with Trump and Epstein at the latter's parties and said she was also raped by Epstein, as BuzzFeed News reported at the time."
"I understood that Mr. Trump and Mr. Epstein knew that I was 13 years old," Jane Doe said in an affidavit.
Why the lawsuit was dropped is a matter of speculation.
"Still, Farrow says, Howard, now chief content officer at AMI, tried to use his influence to convince Lisa Bloom, a power attorney who agreed to represent Jane Doe, to drop her client," Newsweek reported. "In November 2016, just days before the presidential election, Bloom suddenly announced a press conference with Jane Doe had been canceled, saying Doe had become frightened after receiving death threats. Two days later, Doe's lead attorney, Thomas Meager, filed to dismiss the case. Jane Doe has not been heard from since."
Read the full report.