President Donald Trump had an extramarital affair with a former Playmate of the Year that began less than two years after he married his current wife, Melania, The New Yorker reports in a story posted early Friday.
The story, written by Ronan Farrow, asserts that Karen McDougal documented her affair with Trump in an eight-page, handwritten note that John Crawford, a friend of McDougal’s, gave the magazine.
“When I showed McDougal the document, she expressed surprise that I had obtained it but confirmed that the handwriting was her own,” wrote Farrow, who last year broke stories about alleged sexual assault committed by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
“The interactions that McDougal outlines in the document share striking similarities with the stories of other women who claim to have had sexual relationships with Trump, or who have accused him of propositioning them for sex or sexually harassing them.
“McDougal describes their affair as entirely consensual. But her account provides a detailed look at how Trump and his allies used clandestine hotel-room meetings, payoffs, and complex legal agreements to keep affairs — sometimes multiple affairs he carried out simultaneously — out of the press.”
The affair allegedly began after Trump and McDougal met at the Playboy Mansion in June 2006 at a pool party Hugh Hefner threw for Trump’s NBC reality show, “The Apprentice,” which had taped an episode there.
McDougal, who was Playmate of the Year in 1998, claims that during their nine-month affair, Trump introduced her to his family and took her to his private residences.
At an event for the now-defunct Trump Vodka in L.A. in 2007, she says she shared a table with Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and wife Vanessa, and Kim Kardashian.
She wrote that Trump gave her tours of Trump Tower and his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.
While in Trump Tower, she wrote, Trump pointed out his wife’s separate bedroom and “said she liked her space to read or be alone.”
McDougal also alleges she was paid money as part of a cover-up attempt by the National Enquirer.
In November, just days before the election, the Wall Street Journal reported that American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, paid $150,000 for exclusive rights to McDougal’s story, which it never ran.
A White House spokesman told The New Yorker in a statement that the president denies the affair with McDougal.
“This is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal,” it read.
The McDougal story comes just weeks about another alleged extramarital affair of the president’s became public. Trump has also denied that relationship.
In Touch celebrity magazine graphically detailed that alleged affair in a 7-year-old interview released last month in which porn actress Stormy Daniels claimed her relationship with Trump began after she met him at a golf tournament in July 2006 in Lake Tahoe, Nev.
Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, acknowledged last week that he paid Daniels — her real name is Stephanie Clifford — $130,000 out of his own pocket just before Election Day, presumably to buy her silence about her years-long relationship with Trump.
Daniels’ manager, Gina Rodriguez, told The Associated Press that Daniels believes Cohen has now invalidated a non-disclosure agreement, giving her the freedom to speak publicly about the affair.
“Everything is off now, and Stormy is going to tell her story,” Rodriguez said.
According to McDougal’s account, she had sex with Trump at an American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Lake Tahoe in July 2006, the same tournament where Trump allegedly met and began his sexual relationship with Daniels.
In a Marist poll published Wednesday, on Valentine’s Day, 34 percent of Americans said they think First Lady Melania Trump should leave her husband following the claims of Daniels’ affair.