The head of the National Enquirer hired a woman claiming to be Donald Trump’s mistress to prevent her from going public with her story, another media mogul claims.
In a New Yorker expose on Trump’s relationship with the tabloid, Gus Wenner, whose father is the current publisher of Rolling Stone, said that American Media CEO David Pecker admitted to him that he killed negative stories about Trump.
“He told me very bluntly that he had killed all sorts of stories for Trump,” Wenner told The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin. “He hired a girl to be a columnist when she threatened to go public with a story about Donald.”
Last year, The Wall Street Journal first reported that Pecker had paid $150,000 to Karen McDougal after she claimed that she and Trump had a longstanding affair during the first years of his marriage to Melania. McDougal was the Playboy Playmate of the Year in 1998 and had also modeled for Men’s Fitness.
The National Enquirer told the Journal in a statement at the time that it had not hired McDougal to kill the story, but rather for two years of her fitness and magazine columns.
Pecker, who is good friends with Trump, once again told The New Yorker that he wanted McDougal in his magazine because her new beauty product line had become famous — on the condition that she not write anything bad about Trump.
“Once she’s part of the company, then on the outside she can’t be bashing Trump and American Media,” Pecker told the New Yorker.
When Toobin told Pecker that Trump was not synonymous with American Media, Pecker replied that it was to him because “the guy’s a personal friend of mine.”
McDougal declined to comment when contacted by the New Yorker, saying “I don’t really like to talk about things other than my interests and passions—and that’s health, wellness, etc, etc!!”