National Enquirer

Ex-Playboy model who alleged affair with Trump sues Fox News for defamation

a headshot of Karen McDougle
Karen McDougall. Photo: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with President Trump in 2006, has sued Fox News for defamation, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: McDougal said Fox News host Tucker Carlson defamed her with an accusation of extortion when he said in 2018 that she "approached Donald Trump and threatened to ruin his career and humiliate his family if he doesn’t give them money," according to the Times.

National Enquirer to sell for $100 million to CEO of Hudson News

In this image, a stack of National Enquirer magazines sit between two others in a store rack.
The National Enquirer repeats Donald Trump's allegation that Hillary Clinton is not healthy enough for the presidency by using a doctored photograph in 2016. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

The National Enquirer and 2 of its sister publications — owned by American Media Inc. — will be sold for $100 million to James Cohen, the chief executive of Hudson News, a travel retailer best "known for its airport newsstands," as reported by the Washington Post.

The bottom line: American Media's hedge fund manager, Anthony Melchiorre, was reportedly frustrated by the National Enquirer's reporting tactics, according to the Post — hence the sale. Last year, American Media admitted to making a $150,000 payment "in concert with" Trump's presidential campaign to suppress a story about Trump's alleged affair with former Playboy model Karen McDougal. The move also downsizes AMI's considerable debt.

Go deeper: National Enquirer's parent company "disgusted" with the paper

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to indicate the National Enquirer has been purchased by James Cohen, the CEO of Hudson News (not Hudson News).