Another scandal about President Donald Trump’s history of extramarital affairs has resurfaced. This time, it’s about an affair he allegedly had two years into his marriage to Melania—an allegation that Trump’s team denied when it was first reported a couple years back, but that now has more evidence to back it up.
The story appeared early Friday in a New Yorker article written by Ronan Farrow (Woody Allen and Mia Farrow’s son, who played a key role in exposing Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behavior).
The woman in question is former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal. This is not the first time Trump and McDougal’s alleged affair has been exposed.
A couple years back, The Wall Street Journal also reported that the National Enquirer had paid $150,000 for the exclusive rights to her story, which it never published—a so-called “catch and kill” strategy, employed in this case by Enquirer publisher David Pecker, a friend of Trump’s.
Trump’s campaign team at the time denied the story’s veracity, as did Pecker’s American Media Inc (AMI).
The news here is in the detail that appears to show the affair did indeed happen, based on McDougal’s own handwritten recollections. The document was given to The New Yorker by a friend of hers. When Farrow showed it to McDougal, she verified the handwriting as her own.
In an echo of the situation with Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a. Stormy Daniels—the porn star whose silence regarding an alleged affair with Trump was bought with $130,000 in hush money—McDougal told Farrow that she regretted signing a contract that meant she could not speak publically about what happened.
Per McDougal’s handwritten account, she and Trump met at a pool party at the Playboy Mansion in 2006. He hit on her and they ended up having a date that ended up in bed. After they had sex, the account claimed, Trump offered McDougal money, which she refused. A nine-month affair allegedly followed, stretching into 2007.
According to the New Yorker piece, McDougal is a Republican who was initially reluctant to tell her story as she didn’t want to get involved in the 2016 election, nor did she want to attract retribution by Trump’s supporters.
The article also describes McDougal’s deal with AMI in great detail. It suggests that, when allegations about the Stormy Daniels affair broke, the company offered McDougal media training and the chance to host OK! Magazine‘s Emmys coverage.
The White House was quoted in the article as saying it was about “an old story that is just more fake news.”