Catch & Kill

Did Enquirer Pay To Hide Trump Affair?

The Trump-supporting National Enquirer reportedly paid $150,000 to former Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal for her story about a 2006 affair with Donald Trump, who was married at the time to his current wife Melania—but has yet to publish that story, a supermarket tabloid practice known as “catch and kill.” The company that owns the Enquirer told the Wall Street Journal that it “has not paid people to kill damaging stories about Mr. Trump,” but rather paid the six-figure sum in exchange for two years of fitness columns and covers as well as exclusive rights to report on any relationship she “has ever had with any then-married man.” MacDougal had reportedly been in negotiations with ABC News to tell her story about the affair—which the Trump campaign categorically denied—before selling them exclusively to The Enquirer, which is entitled to at least $150,000 in damages if she tells her story elsewhere, according to documents reviewed by the Journal.