Former Playboy model Karen McDougal and American Media Inc., owners of the National Enquirer tabloid, reached a settlement Wednesday that will free her from a contract that barred her from openly discussing her alleged affair with President Donald Trump, according to court documents.
McDougal sued in March to be released from an agreement that gave the Enquirer exclusive rights to her story about alleged romantic encounters with Trump — a story they never published — which effectively kept her silent about the relationship.
The former Playbook model finalized the $150,000 deal in 2016 after Trump had sealed the Republican presidential nomination, one of several so-called hush agreements involving the president that has been brought to light in recent months.
The news of the settlement, first reported by The New York Times, signals McDougal will be able to more freely talk about her claims without fear of legal repercussions for violating the terms of the deal. McDougal spoke out about her alleged relationship during a wide-ranging interview with CNN last month, claiming she had a 10-month affair with Trump between 2006 and 2007. The White House has denied the allegations.
Under the settlement agreement, reached in court in Los Angeles on Wednesday, AMI is entitled to up to $75,000 in profits from stories about her alleged affair in the future.
Trump’s legal team is currently locked in a dispute with adult-film actress Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had a sexual encounter with the president over a decade ago.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal attorney, has acknowledged paying $130,000 in 2016 to Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, in a deal to keep her quiet about the alleged affair.