Ex-Playboy model who alleges affair with Trump sues to break silence

A former Playboy model on Tuesday sued the company that owns the National Enquirer so she could break her silence about an alleged affair she claims she had with President TrumpDonald John TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president MORE.

Karen McDougal is suing American Media Inc. (AMI), which paid her $150,000 for her story about the alleged affair and then withheld it from publication, The New York Times reports.

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McDougal, whose lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that she was misled by American Media and her lawyer at the time about the deal. 

“AMI lied to me, made empty promises, and repeatedly intimidated and manipulated me," McDougal said in a statement.

"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."

She also said in the lawsuit that she was warned by AMI after they spoke with The New Yorker last month that "any further disclosures would break Karen's contract" and "cause considerable monetary damages," according to the Times.

McDougal's current lawyer, Peter Stris told the newspaper in an email that AMI carried out a "multifaceted effort to silence" his client.

“The lawsuit filed today aims to restore her right to her own voice,” he said. “We intend to invalidate the so-called contract that American Media Inc. imposed on Karen so she can move forward with the private life she deserves.”

McDougal told The New Yorker last month that a purported effort to cover up the story by the National Enquirer took her "rights away." The model also said she felt like she could not so much as mention Trump's name after she was paid for her story.

The lawsuit comes after adult-film star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, also filed a lawsuit earlier this month in an effort to void a nondisclosure agreement she says bars her from speaking publicly about her alleged affair with Trump more than a decade ago.
 
Daniels was paid $130,000 by Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, weeks before the 2016 presidential election. That payment, she says, was intended to buy her silence about the alleged affair.
 
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported in November 2016 that American Media paid McDougal $150,000 for her story about the alleged affair with Trump and then never published it.
 
 
McDougal and Clifford have made similar claims about their relationships with the now-president, including interactions at the same Lake Tahoe golf tournament and dates at the same Beverly Hills hotel, among other similarities. 
 
Trump has denied both affairs. 
 
Updated at 3:51 p.m.