Former Playboy Model Sues Media Group For Freedom To Talk About Trump

at Sagamore Hotel on February 6, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images North America

A former Playboy model who allegedly had an affair with President Donald Trump in 2006 sued the media company that owns the National Enquirer on Tuesday, demanding to be released from her contract with the company, the New York Times reported.

Karen McDougal signed an agreement with American Media, Inc. (AMI), selling her story about her relationship with Trump in August 2016, as the Wall Street Journal has reported. The agreement reportedly keeps McDougal from sharing her story elsewhere and promised to run columns by McDougal and place her on two covers.

She told the New Yorker recently that her lawyer at the time, Keith Davidson, the same lawyer who represented porn actress Stormy Daniels, pushed her to sign the agreement. McDougal told the New Yorker that she did not fully understand the agreement at the time and that she regrets signing it.

“AMI lied to me, made empty promises, and repeatedly intimidated and manipulated me. I just want the opportunity to set the record straight and move on with my life, free from this company, its executives, and its lawyers,” McDougal said in a statement provided to TPM.

In the complaint, McDougal claims that Trump attorney Michael Cohen was involved in her agreement with AMI, and she argues that AMI and Davidson were misleading when urging her to sign the deal, according to the New York Times. McDougal also claims that she was not aware that AMI chief executive David Pecker, a close friend of Trump, often bought stories only to keep them under wraps, per the New York Times.

AMI told the New York Times that it spoke with Cohen about McDougal’s story, but only while trying to fact-check her story.

McDougal also claims in the complaint that AMI promised to run fitness columns by her and feature her on two covers but failed to live up to that agreement, per the Times.

Also on Tuesday, a judge in New York ruled that former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos can proceed with her lawsuit against Trump. Zervos filed a defamation suit against Trump in January 2017 over Trump’s comments calling her a liar for coming forward with groping allegations. Trump’s lawyers attempted to dismiss the case by arguing that Zervos could not sue a sitting President in state court, an argument the judge dismissed.

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