Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Karen McDougal in 2005. Photo: Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic

Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to be freed from a 2016 legal agreement that required her to stay silent about an affair she claims she had with President Trump in 2006, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters, per Axios' Jonathan Swan: We have no earthly idea how many other women are out there who have similar hush money agreements with Trump's lawyers or associates acting on his behalf. But the floodgates appear to be opening with Stormy Daniels and now this Playboy model coming out. They're setting the template for others to follow — a nightmare scenario for even this teflon president.

  • McDougal is suing American Media Inc., the owner of the National Enquirer. AMI offered to purchase her story for $150,000 and not publish it — referred to as a "catch and kill" agreement. In exchange, AMI offered her regular features in their magazines and websites, but McDougal noted that her agreement only gave AMI "the right" to publish them, rather than any sort of obligation.
  • Karen McDougal said in a statement provided to Axios: “AMI lied to me, made empty promises, and repeatedly intimidated and manipulated me. 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's lawyer, Peter Stris, said in a statement: “Through efforts including the collusion of her own lawyer, AMI has consistently deceived and manipulated Ms. McDougal through an illegitimate contract. We are confident that the so-called contract will be invalidated, and are eager for Ms. McDougal to be able to move forward with her life with the privacy she deserves.”

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
8 mins ago - Technology

Apple sets September quarter sales record despite later iPhone launch

Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking at the Apple 12 launch event in October. Photo: Apple

Apple on Thursday reported quarterly sales and earnings that narrowly exceeded analysts estimates as the iPhone maker continued to see strong demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What they's saying: The company said response to new products, including the iPhone 12 has been "tremendously positive" but did not give a specific forecast for the current quarter.

Supreme Court rejects second GOP effort to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court, for the second time in two days, rejected a GOP request to shorten the deadline mail-in ballots must be received by North Carolina officials to be counted.

The state of play: The state's deadline had been extended from 3 days to 9 days post-Election Day.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

The vaccine race turns toward nationalism

The coronavirus pandemic is worsening, both in the U.S. and abroad, with cases, hospitalizations and deaths all rising.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of global vaccine development — including why the U.S. and China seem to going at it alone — with medicinal chemist and biotech blogger Derek Lowe.