Playboy Model Karen McDougal May Testify in Trump’s Hush Money Trial: What to Know

Trump and Karen McDougal

As Donald Trump’s hush money trial gears up with jurors sworn in and preparations underway to question witnesses, former Playboy model Karen McDougal looms as a potential figure in the proceedings.

While Trump faces 34 felony counts related to concealing hush money payments, McDougal’s involvement could shed light on the broader context of the case. Here’s what you need to know about McDougal:

  • McDougal gained prominence as a former Playboy model.
  • She alleges she had a 10-month affair with Trump starting in 2006, a claim the former president denies.
  • Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, orchestrated a “catch and kill” deal with the National Enquirer in 2016 to suppress McDougal’s story. Cohen arranged a $150,000 payment to McDougal in exchange for exclusive rights to her story, which was never published.
  • McDougal has since sued American Media Inc. (AMI), the parent company of the National Enquirer, alleging deception and intimidation. She seeks to set the record straight about her affair with Trump.
  • McDougal’s potential testimony could intersect with that of David Pecker, AMI’s former CEO, who is expected to be the trial’s first witness. Pecker’s testimony may illuminate the company’s practice of acquiring and burying damaging stories, known as a “catch-and-kill” strategy.

Pecker’s involvement in McDougal’s case points to the intricate web of relationships and agreements surrounding Trump’s alleged hush money payments.

As the trial unfolds, McDougal’s testimony could provide crucial insights into the broader dynamics at play, shedding light on the lengths to which individuals and organizations went to shield damaging information about Trump from public scrutiny.