A few days before the 2016 election, the Wall Street Journal reported that the owner of the National Enquirer paid $150,000 for a story alleging an affair between Donald Trump and a former Playboy Playmate for the express purpose of burying it. Now, Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker provides all the details, citing an eight-page letter that the Playmate, Karen McDougal, wrote to a friend. In the letter, McDougal says she began a consensual affair with Trump after meeting him at the Playboy Mansion in June 2006. “I was so nervous! I was into his intelligence + charm. Such a polite man,” wrote McDougal, who was Playmate of the Year in 1998. “We talked for a couple hours – then, it was ‘ON’! We got naked + had sex.” This was about two years after Trump’s marriage to Melania, when their son, Barron, was a few months old.
McDougal’s letter says she ended the affair after nine months, but prior to that had gone “to see him every time he was in LA (which was a lot).” Trump was careful: “No paper trails for him. In fact, every time I flew to meet him, I booked/paid for flight + hotel + he reimbursed me.” The story alleges Trump carried on multiple affairs, including with adult-film star Stormy Daniels, at the same time. McDougal writes that Trump introduced her to members of his family and once pointed out Melania’s bedroom in Trump Tower, saying “she liked her space, to read or be alone.” McDougal confirmed to Farrow that the letter is in her handwriting and says she regrets accepting the $150,000 payment—of which she got $82,500 after three men who brokered the deal got their cut. She hopes speaking out will make other women think twice before signing similar deals. Read the full story.