A former Playboy model, who claims to have had a sexual affair with Donald Trump over a decade ago, apologized to first lady Melania Trump in an interview on CNN Thursday, admitting she knew he was married during the alleged tryst.
Karen McDougal talked about her alleged affair on Anderson Cooper 360 and the lawsuit she filed Tuesday to be freed from a deal she said she made to remain silent about their alleged relationship.
“What can you say except I’m sorry?” she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, apologizing for the alleged affair to Melania Trump. “I’m sorry. I wouldn’t want it done to me.”
McDougal admitted that she knew Donald Trump was married during the alleged affair, saying she was reluctant to bring it up because “she felt guilty.”
She also said that Donald Trump offered to pay her after they had been intimate for the first time in 2006 and that it made her cry.
“After we had been intimate, he tried to pay me, and I actually didn’t know how to take that,” McDougal said. “I’ve never been offered money like that. I looked at him and said, ‘I’m not that type of girl.”
“And he said, ‘Oh,’ and he said, ‘You’re really special,'” McDougal said, adding: “It hurt me that he saw me in that light.”
According to McDougal, the relationship lasted for about 10 months. She says she broke it off in April 2007 because she felt guilty. She recalled traveling to meet Trump at his properties in New York, New Jersey and California and said she had sex with him “many dozens of times.”
McDougal had feelings for Trump, but the affair was “just tearing me apart,” she said. “There was a real relationship there. There were real feelings,” she added. “He would call me baby or he would call me beautiful Karen.”
Trump married his current wife, Melania Trump, in 2005, and their son, Barron, was born in 2006.
McDougal is just the latest to come forward about alleged affairs with Trump or unwanted sexual advances. At least 19 women have made accusations, including most recently with porn star Stormy Daniels.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, is in the middle of a lawsuit with Trump and his personal attorney Michael Cohen. She alleges she was paid $130,000 and signed a “hush” agreement to keep quiet about her 2006 affair with the President.
McDougal filed a suit Tuesday targeting 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 company, in a statement, said McDougal has been allowed to speak about her relationship with Trump since 2016 and their contract with her only gave the company discretion over whether they would publish the story.
It also allowed for her to write columns for the company and to appear on magazine covers.
The Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission have been asked by a watchdog group to investigate the alleged payment to McDougal.