Ex-Playboy playmate Karen McDougal sues to break silence on alleged Trump affair

A former Playboy model who alleged she previously had an affair with President Trump sued on Tuesday to be released from the legal agreement barring her from speaking on the relationship.

Karen McDougal’s lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, takes aim at The National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., according to the complaint. She claims they paid her $150,000 for the story of her affair only to never publish it.

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." The 2016 agreement did not require the Enquirer to run the story but effectively muted McDougal on the matter.

McDougal in the suit claims Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was secretly involved in her negotiations with American Media Inc. She additionally accused her own lawyer at the time of joining their efforts to mislead her about the nature of the deal.

RELATED: Former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal

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SIMI VALLEY, CA - MARCH 30: Playmates Katie Lohmann (top) and Karen McDougal attend the 7th Annual Playboy Golf Scramble championship finals at Lost Canyons Golf Club on March 30, 2007 in Simi Valley, California. (Photo by Chad Buchanan/Getty Images)
Karen McDougal during 7th Annual Playboy Golf Scramble Championship Finals at Lost Canyons Golf Club in Simi Valley, California, United States. (Photo by Enos Solomon/FilmMagic)
SIMI VALLEY, CA - MARCH 30: Playmate Karen McDougal attends the 7th Annual Playboy Golf Scramble championship finals at Lost Canyons Golf Club on March 30, 2007 in Simi Valley, California. (Photo by Chad Buchanan/Getty Images)
Karen McDougal during 7th Annual Playboy Golf Scramble Championship Finals at Lost Canyons Golf Club in Simi Valley, California, United States. (Photo by Enos Solomon/FilmMagic)
382949 09: Playboy playmate Karen McDougal strikes a pose as a pinup girl similiar to a watercolor painting by Alberto Vargas December 7, 2000 at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, CA. Playboy founder Hugh Hefner announced the sale of four rare Alberto Vargas watercolors to be sold on the new Playboy Auctions web site. Vargas'' classic watercolors of pinup girls appeared in Playboy magazine in the 1960''s. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Newsmakers)
Karen McDougal during Movieline's Hollywood Life 7th Annual Young Hollywood Awards - Arrivals at Music Box at The Fonda in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Hugh Hefner, George Maloof, Christine Santiago, Karen McDougal, Julie Cialini (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
382949 04: Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, center, poses with playmates, left to right, Carrie Stevens, Kalin Olson, Karen McDougal and Deanna Brooks dressed as pinup girls December 7, 2000 at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, CA. Hefner announced the sale of four rare Alberto Vargas watercolors to be sold on the new Playboy Auctions web site. Vargas'' classic watercolors of pinup girls appeared in Playboy magazine in the 1960''s. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Newsmakers)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 15: Actress Karen McDougal arrives at the launch party to celebrate Diane von Furstenberg's limited edition designer mobile phone at Astra West in the Pacific Design Center on October 15, 2004 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Cherie Steinberg/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 06: Karen McDougal, Playboy Playmate of the Year 1998 attend Playboy's Super Saturday Night Party presented by Bacardi at Sagamore Hotel on February 6, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Bacardi)
5/28/98 Beverly Hills, Ca Hugh Hefner and Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal at the Playboy Mansion.
Newly named Playboy Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal poses with her new Shelby series Mustang which she received May 28 at ceremonies held at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Ca.The Indiana native will be featured in the July issue of the magazine.
Newly-named Playboy Playmate of the Year Karen McDougal poses with Playboy magazine founder and editor in chief Hugh Hefner May 28 at ceremonies held at the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, Ca.The Indiana native will be featured in the July issue of the magazine. SSM/RC
7-10-98 Los Angeles, Ca Playboy Launches Search For Playmates For The Mellennium. Lead Singer Of 'Janes Addiction' Perry Farrell With Stacy Sanches And Karen Mcdougal. (Photo By John Chapple/Getty Images)
Karen McDougal during Miramax Films, Archie Comics and Kitson Launch New Apparel Line Featuring 'Betty & Veronica' at Kitson Retail Store in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Playboy Playmates Karen McDougal and Carrie Stevens *exclusive* ***Exclusive*** (Photo by Chris Polk/FilmMagic)
Karen McDougal (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
It’s been almost a year since I shot the #Muscle&FitnessHers #cover. It’s a painful memory for me tho..it was 2 weeks before my #life-saving #surgery ...I was terribly sick (I hadn’t worked out in months...and I was bed ridden at the time. Minus the couple of “good days” I had per month. Thank GOD I had a “good day” that day. Even then ...I felt dizzy and awful..but I was at least able to function!! I longed for those days!!) So...my throw back Tuesday is to #HEALTH ...without it, we truly have NOTHING! #breastimplantillness #BII #implants = #explant 🙌🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼 @muscleandfitnesshers Here’s to Shawn ...who passed away (he helped make the shoot as comfortable as possible for me)..R.I.P. photographer Dustin Snipes. HA/MA @kimberly_a_carlson. Spring 2017 issue
I just got cleared to start training again ....upper body up to 5 lbs (I know...so light, lol. But after a year off, I’ll take t)! 🙌🏼. The #DVT’s are gone but I still have superficial blood clots so I Ha e to go slow/take it easy. Finally off the #Bloodthinner ! #THANKSTOGOD! 🙏🏼. #healing completely! #TIMETOGETITBACK! Slow...but steady!!
Before my “checkup” yesterday!! 🙌🏼
#TBT ~ #fit #fitness #model #fitfam #healthy #inspiration #swimsuit #workingout (#crawlingonmachines) #heels #beach #health @kimberly_a_carlson Hair/makeup !!
#Christmas pasts.... #lingerie #photo #shoot #Holiday #fun!
#HALLOWEEN Pasts.... #Nurse #Indian #Mansion #party #Playboy #memories!!
#TBT ..#ironmanmagazine #shoot #workout #weights #fitness #fitnessmodel #model #fitfam #fitgirl #fit #health
" ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL " ?!?!! #NFL #football #footballseason #gameday #NY #Giants #Gmen 🏈🏈🏈
#TBT....my #SignaturePose ! #Splits #workout #fitness #model #health #fitfam #gym #girl #fitnessmotivation #fitspiration #fitgirl #fitnessmodel
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"AMI lied to me, made empty promises, and repeatedly intimidated and manipulated me," McDougal said in a statement. "I just want the opportunity to set the record straight and move on with my life, free from this company, its executives, and its lawyers.

McDougal first rose to fame in the late 1990s for several appearances in Playboy. She eventually went on to nab the coveted "Playmate of the Year" title in 1998.

"For several years, Ms. McDougal led a 'Hollywood' life, attending events and parties as both honored guest and hostess," according to court documents. "During that time, Ms. McDougal had a 10-month relationship with Mr. Trump."

The model and actress enjoyed "relative privacy" in the years following her relationship with President Trump, which came to an end in 2007, according to court documents. Her life would change forever though, when former Playboy playmate Carrie Stevens outed their affair in a series of tweets in May 2016.

Convinced news of the extramarital relationship would come out in full, McDougal hired entertainment lawyer Keith Davidson who "assured her that the rights to publish her story were worth millions.

"Unknown to Ms. McDougal, Mr. Davidson was working closely with representatives for Mr. Trump while pretending to advocate on her behalf," the suit alleges.

Sources told the Daily News that McDougal was "fielding multiple offers" before she signed the agreement with the National Enquirer. ABC News was also in the running, but McDougal eventually sold to the highest bidder," one souce said.

Davidson told her AMI would purchase her story but "not publish it" because of chief executive David J. Pecker's close relationship with Trump. They promised instead to run columns, articles and at least two covers featuring McDougal and pushed her to sign the deal without delay.

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Women Donald Trump has been linked to

Headlines have been swarming about an alleged affair between the president and pornstar Stormy Daniels. 

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

According to Newsweek, Candice Bergen went on a date with Trump in the 1960s. 

 (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Actress and model Anna Nicole Smith is rumored to have been intimate with Donald Trump.

  REUTERS/Fred Prouser FSP/HB

 Carla Bruni reportedly dated the president-to-be in 1991.  (Photo by PL Gould/IMAGES/Getty Images)

Model Ingrid Seynhaeve is rumored to have been intimate with Donald J. Trump in 1997.

Photo Credit:Getty

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"It's buyer's remorse," the source said of the new legal action.

"She wrote articles and collected money for them," the source said of the fitness columns she authored for American Media. "This was meant to jumpstart her career."

"A quarter million dollar company posing as a media organization systemically intimidated and silenced Karen McDougal in order to achieve its political and financial ends, and she will no longer be quiet," her new lawyer, Peter Stris, said in a statement. "Through efforts including the collusion of her own lawyer, AMI has consistently deceived and manipulated Mr. McDougal through an illegitimate contract."

The lawsuit, first reported by the New York Times, makes McDougal the second woman fighting for release from an agreement preventing her from speaking on out on a relationship with the President.

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels — who was paid $130,000 by Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in exchange for her silence — similarly filed suit earlier this month.

The White House and Trump have repeatedly denied both affairs.

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