Former Playboy model let out of agreement, can discuss alleged Trump affair

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal has reportedly been let out of a contract with the parent company of The National Enquirer and can now freely discuss her alleged affair with President TrumpDonald TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media MORE.

McDougal reached a settlement Wednesday with American Media Inc. (AMI), freeing her from the deal for the exclusive rights to her story, The New York Times reported.

McDougal had sued to be released from the agreement, claiming she was misled about the terms. She also claimed that Michael Cohen, Trump's personal attorney, inappropriately intervened in the deal.


The publisher, whose chairman, David Pecker, is a friend of Trump's, purchased the rights to her story for $150,000 ahead of the 2016 election but never ran any pieces on it, using a tabloid "catch and kill" maneuver. 

Under Wednesday's terms, AMI will retain the rights to photographs of McDougal that it purchased and holds claim over up to $75,000 in any future profits she makes off the story. The former Playboy model will keep the original $150,000 payment.

"Today, I’m doing my victory dance,” McDougal told the Times, adding she currently has no plans to sell her tale to a second buyer.

“It’s a total win,” said her lawyer, Peter Stris. “We got everything we were fighting for — she got out of the contract, gets the life rights back and owes AMI nothing more.”

The alleged affair, which McDougal says happened more than a decade ago, came after Trump's marriage to now-first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpMelania Trump bids farewell to Be Best in new video Garth Brooks, Joan Baez among this year's Kennedy Center honorees Melania Trump says she was 'disappointed and disheartened' watching Capitol riots MORE.

AMI had sought to have McDougal's case dismissed in court, but that was before last week's FBI raids on Cohen's home and office, reportedly seeking documents on McDougal, among other topics.

The raid came in part from a referral from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE

Cohen is reportedly under criminal investigation for possible campaign finance and bank fraud violations. 

The Times reports that AMI is facing a Federal Election Commission complaint that its $150,000 payment to McDougal was an illegal campaign expenditure.

Cohen is still being sued by adult-film star Stormy Daniels, another woman who says she was paid for her silence about an affair with Trump.

The White House says Trump denies both women's stories.