Ronan Farrow helped take down Harvey Weinstein, and now the New Yorker writer has set his focus on a bigger prize: the President of the United of America. In a 4,300-word article that hit the web this morning, Farrow detailed Donald Trump’s elaborate system to hide his extramarital relations before he became President.
Titled “Donald Trump, a Playboy Model, and a System for Concealing Infidelity,” Farrow has unovered the way in which the former Apprentice host reportedly concealed an affair with Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal.
The explosive piece is largely based on an account provided Farrow by McDougal’s friend John Crawford, who gave Farrow an eight-page handwritten document outlining the affair. McDougal said the affair was consensual, but the account lifts a lid on how Trump and his allies, including the National Enquirer, 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 article details how Trump met McDougal in 2006 at the Playboy Mansion after filming an episode of his NBC reality series there. This was less than two years after Trump married Firsty Lady Melania Trump and a few months after the birth of son Barron.
It details how the National Enquirer publisher AMI, run by Trump’s friend David Pecker, paid McDougal $150,000 for exclusive rights to her story, which it never ran.
In the New Yorker article, McDougal declined to discuss the details of her relationship with Trump, for fear of violating her AMI contract. However, she told Farrow: “It took my rights away. At this point I feel I can’t talk about anything without getting into trouble, because I don’t know what I’m allowed to talk about. I’m afraid to even mention his name.”
The latest allegations come as porn actress Stormy Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, is floating the idea of telling all about her affair with Trump after his lawyer Michael Cohen admitted paying Daniels $130,000, a move her legal team claims voids a non-disclosure agreement.
A White House spokesperson told the New Yorker, in a statement, that Trump denies having had an affair with McDougal, calling it — wait for it — “fake news.”
“This is an old story that is just more fake news,” the spokesperson said. “The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal.”