New York (AFP) – A media group agreed to release an ex-Playboy model from a deal that stopped her from discussing an alleged affair with US President Donald Trump, both sides confirmed Wednesday.
The deal was reached between American Media Inc., which owns tabloid magazine The National Enquirer, and model Karen McDougal.
It ends a lawsuit brought by McDougal and protects Trump from being drawn into a legal case involving efforts to buy the silence of women during his 2016 campaign, The New York Times said. Trump denies any affair with McDougal.
An American Media spokesperson confirmed the settlement, saying McDougal would appear on the cover and be the subject of a feature-length article in September’s edition of Men’s Journal.
“I am relieved to be able to tell the truth about my story when asked, and I look forward to being able to return to my private life and focus on what matters to me,” McDougal said.
In 2016, American Media acquired the rights to her story, which it never published, in return for $150,000 and commitments to promote her fitness career.
Under the settlement, American Media has the right to up to $75,000 of any future profits from her story.
“Our firm is happy to have been able to help Karen reach this favorable outcome and free her from the fear of speaking her truth,” her lawyer Peter Stris said in a statement.
McDougal had accused American Media, whose chairman is a Trump friend, of misleading her into signing the contract and Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen of intervening inappropriately.
The deal is now part of a federal criminal investigation into Cohen and his business dealings.
Documents seized in an FBI raid last week reportedly relate in part to payments to McDougal and former porn star Stormy Daniels, who also alleges an intimate relationship with Trump.
The president faces a separate lawsuit from the adult movie star, who wants to extricate herself from a hush agreement in which Cohen paid her $130,000 before the 2016 election.