Ex-Playmate sues tabloid publisher for burying Trump story

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House Tuesday

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House Tuesday

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal filed a lawsuit to get out of a gag order she allegedly signed to keep silent about an extramarital affair she says she had with President Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, Karen McDougal (above) filed a lawsuit against American Media Inc. She says when she renewed negotiations in 2016, she was informed of Pecker's friendship and the idea AMI would buy her story but not run it.

The report would make McDougal the latest woman to take legal action over an agreement restricting her from speaking out about an alleged relationship with the President prior to his time in government. The company told The New York Times - which broke the story of McDougal's lawsuit - last month that it initially chose not to print her story when they first learned of her allegations past year because it could not verify important details.

McDougal claims that the Enquirer swooped in with a $150,000 deal while she was considering telling her story to ABC News in the summer of 2016.

McDougal says Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, played a role in discussions between her and A.M.I. and that she was misled about the legal agreement she signed, according to the outlet.

McDougal filed her suit just days before Clifford was to appear on "60 Minutes" to discuss her relationship with Trump and the efforts Cohen undertook on his client's behalf to pay for her silence.

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In a statement, an American Media representative said McDougal has been free to speak to the press about her alleged relationship with Trump since 2016.

The complaint claims, "Mr. Davidson's fee agreement granted him 45% of whatever Ms. McDougal received".

In an email to The New York Times, her new lawyer, Peter K. Stris, accused American Media of "a multifaceted effort to silence Karen McDougal". Both alleged affairs started in 2006, and both women originally shared the same attorney, Keith Davidson of Los Angeles. We are confident that the so-called contract will be invalidated, and are eager for Ms. McDougal to be able to move forward with her life with the privacy she deserves. "They threaten her with financial ruin if she does not remain 'loyal.' AMI meanwhile feeds those same reporters false information about Ms. McDougal, her relationship with Mr. Trump and its own machinations to bind her silence". American Media chief executive David Pecker has previously suggested that he was merely looking out for a friend, Trump, when his company purchased exclusive rights to McDougal's story then did not publish it, a practice known as "catch and kill".

AMI officials could not be reached for immediate comment.

McDougal's alleged affair with Mr. Trump took place over a period of 10 months between 2006 and 2007.

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