First, Stormy Daniels. Now, Karen McDougal and Summer Zervos.
President Trump is facing two more lawsuits related to alleged relationships he had with women before he entered politics. One was filed Tuesday by a former Playboy model who claimed she had an affair with him.
The other comes after a New York court ruled that a former Apprentice contestant who accused Trump of groping her would be allowed to move forward with a defamation lawsuit against the president.
On Tuesday, Karen McDougal, the former Playboy model, filed suit to be freed from a deal she made to remain silent about an alleged affair she had with Trump.
McDougal is suing American Media Inc., the company that owns the National Enquirer, which allegedly paid her $150,000 not to speak about her affair.
“AMI lied to me, made empty promises, and repeatedly intimidated and manipulated me,” McDougal said in a statement provided to USA TODAY. “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.”
The suit comes a month after a watchdog group asked the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission to investigate the reported six-figure payment to McDougal.
McDougal’s new lawyer, Peter Stris, said McDougal’s previous lawyer worked with AMI to mislead her about the deal.
“A quarter billion dollar company posing as a media organization systematically intimidated and silenced Karen McDougal in ourder to achieve its political and financial ends, and she will no longer be quiet,” Stris said in a statement provided to USA TODAY. “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.”
Also on Tuesday, a New York court ruled that Zervos, the former Apprentice contestant, would be allowed to move forward with a defamation suit against the president. Zervos has accused Trump of groping her and then defaming her during the 2016 presidential election. Trump’s lawyers asked the court to dismiss Zervos’ suit.
The court denied the Trump request. In its ruling, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter said, “No one is above the law.” It noted that Trump making statements about Zervos on the campaign trail “does not make them any less actionable.”
She cited Clinton v. Jones, the case that found that a sitting president wasn’t immune from being sued in federal court for unofficial acts. That case opened the door for Clinton’s impeachment.
The suits from McDougal and Zervos come as former porn star Stormy Daniels pushes forward with her own to break an agreement with Trump about their alleged affair. Daniels, who was paid $130,000 to keep quiet about her relationship with Trump, has argued that the non-disclosure agreement she signed was invalid because it was never signed by Trump himself.
Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, claims that Daniels violated the NDA and could pay up to $20 million in damages.
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