American Media Inc., the company that owns the National Enquirer, paid $150,000 for a story of an alleged affair between Donald Trump and a former Playboy model a decade ago but never published it, a report from The Wall Street Journal revealed on Friday.
Karen McDougal, the 1998 Playmate of the Year, cut a deal with the tabloid publisher in August, The Wall Street Journal reported. The report adds American Media refused to publish details about McDougal's alleged tryst with Trump — who was married to his wife Melania at the time — that began in 2006 and lasted until 2007.
The National Enquirer, which endorsed Trump for president, denied buying the story for $150,000 but rather, "two years’ worth of her fitness columns and magazine covers as well as exclusive life rights to any relationship she has had with a then-married man," WSJ reported. "AMI has not paid people to kill damaging stories about Mr. Trump," American Media told The Wall Street Journal.
In a statement, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks disputed the report, claiming the alleged affair was “totally untrue.”