Former Playboy Playmate settles with tabloid owner over buried Trump affair story

Karen McDougal claims she had a 10-month relationship with Donald Trump starting in 2006, when he was already married to his third wife, Melania.
Karen McDougal claims she had a 10-month relationship with Donald Trump starting in 2006, when he was already married to his third wife, Melania.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (BLOOMBERG) - A former Playboy Playmate who claimed she had an affair with US President Donald Trump more than a decade ago settled a lawsuit against the owner of the National Enquirer, which acquired the rights to her story only to bury it.

Ms Karen McDougal's ownership of the experience will be restored as part of the agreement with American Media Inc, according to a copy of the settlement provided by her lawyer on Wednesday (April 18).

"I am pleased to have reached a settlement with AMI on my own terms, which restores to me the rights to my life story and frees me from this contract that I was misled into signing nearly two years ago," Ms McDougal said in a statement.

Ms McDougal claims she had a 10-month relationship with Mr Trump starting in 2006, when he was already married to his third wife, Mrs Melania Trump, who had given birth to their son Barron earlier that year.

Mr Trump was the host of NBC reality show The Apprentice at the time.

She alleged AMI paid her US$150,000 (S$196,455) for her story before the 2016 presidential election, intending not to publish it - what's known as a "catch and kill" agreement - because owner David Pecker is a close personal friend of Mr Trump's.