Friday night we learned that Donald Trump allegedly had an affair with a Playboy Playmate, and The National Enquirer paid the Playmate $150,000 for her story, only to bury it. This is because the owner of the Enquirer, David Pecker, is a close friend of Donald Trump.
The Wall Street Journal uncovered the story. Now, the infidelity really isn’t the story. What happens between two people in a marriage should be private. Many people are ok criticizing Donald Trump, because he made Bill Clinton’s infidelity such a big part of his campaign, and I guess I can see that argument. But I beleive the real story is that The National Enquier, and it’s parent company, American Media Inc., paid the woman, Karen McDougal, $150,000, to effectively stay quiet.
The deal between American Media and McDougal meant she would be fined $150,000 for talking about the affair, which makes sense if the paper was trying to seal up the exclusive. But the paper sat on the allegations, and with three days left to go until the election it seems unlikely to publish now. In fact, according to the Journal, which spoke to people familiar with the deal, the company never planned on publishing—the payment was a “catch and kill” intended only to keep McDougal quiet.
But now other people are talking. The Journal spoke to several friends of McDougal’s, who say that she told them at the time she was having an affair with Trump that lasted about ten months. Another friend tells the paper that she and McDougal attended the 2006 Miss Universe pageant at Trump’s invitation.
One friend said:
A friend of Ms. McDougal’s recalled attending the Miss Universe pageant at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles as a guest of Mr. Trump in 2006. Mr. Trump’s limousine picked up Ms. McDougal and her at Ms. McDougal’s Beverly Hills home, and the two women sat in the front row with Mr. Trump and music producers Quincy Jonesand David Foster. Mr. Trump escorted them home, the friend said.
In September 2015, McDougal tweeted out four photographs: two showing her with Trump, one of her with David Foster, and one with an unidentified woman—as a “#tbt in honor of #republicandebate.” One pair of photographs is clearly from the Miss Universe pageant that McDougal’s friend discussed with the Journal.
Here are the photos and the tweet:
— Karen McDougal (@karenmcdougal98) September 17, 2015