Former Playboy Model Sues Media Group For Freedom To Talk About Trump

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Former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal filed a lawsuit Tuesday in an effort to be released from a 2016 legal agreement that prevents her from discussing an alleged romantic relationship with President Trump.

Amid all the fuss about Stormy Daniels' alleged 2006 sexual encounters with a married Donald Trump, a related scandal has been bubbling in the background.

The lawsuit also accuses McDougal's former attorney, Keith Davidson, of colluding with Cohen and American Media.

The complaint says that McDougal's own lawyer at the time helped mislead her during the negotiations.

A mutual friend connected her to Davidson, who, she said, told her the story could be worth millions. Those letter were written long before she signed a contract with American Media. When Trump dismissed Zervos' statements as "total fiction", she sued for defamation previous year. Her lawyer then told her that the company wasn't interested in her story but that "he and AMI updated Mr. Trump's representatives about Ms. McDougal".

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The lawsuit comes a month after the New Yorker reported on the alleged affair and a move by American Media to pay McDougal for exclusive rights to her story, which it never published.

McDougal says she ended the relationship nine months after it began.

Ahead of the Presidential election, the Wall Street Journal published a story saying the media company shelled out the cash as part of a well-known tabloid maneuver called "catch and kill". McDougal says her own lawyer pressured her to take the deal, and failed to disclose that the publisher didn't actually have to print the promised coverage.

The timeline provided in the lawsuit shows that Davidson's email came as he and American Media were still hashing out the terms of the deal, which McDougal did not sign until the following day, August 6.

The lawsuit claims McDougal was not told AMI had no obligation to run articles she had written or that they were simultaneously negotiating deals to kill other negative stories about Mr. Trump, and that his representatives received constant updates throughout the negotiations past year.

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Read McDougal's full complaint here.

McDougal, who grew up in Sawyer, MI and lived in the state until the late 1990s when her modeling career took off.

She claims Davidson told her AMI would give her $150K, 43 percent of it he would keep, and also give her a lucrative contract that would give her fitness columns and magazine covers in AMI's empire.

"For several years, Ms. McDougal led a "Hollywood" life, attending events and parties as both honored guest and hostess", according to court documents.

The first woman seeking to end her NDA, adult entertainment star Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels), was paid $130,000 by the president's personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen.

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