News & Opinion | May 29, 2018 10:47 am

How Karen McDougal Tried to Profit From Her Alleged Affair With Trump

The former playboy model sought advice from a Latin American political operative.

karen mcdougal
Karen McDougal, the former Playboy model who allegedly had an affair with Donald Trump. (Getty Images)
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When former Playboy model Karen McDougal was thinking about selling her story of an alleged affair with President Donald Trump, she sought advice from a political operative who has helped elect candidates in Latin America, reports The Washington Post. McDougal and J.J. Rendón spoke for hours over the course of two days in May 2016 at his Miami penthouse. They discussed whether she should sell her account of a decade-old relationship with the Republican presidential candidate. They met through a mutual acquaintance, who arranged the meeting. McDougal eventually struck a $150,000 deal with American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer. The deal drew wide attention in the media in recent weeks because McDougal sued to be released from a non-disclosure agreement with the company. She then told her story on television.

Rendón is a polarizing political force in Latin America, but little known in the United States, where he lives in a form of exile, according to The Post. He says his tactics are legal and has sued those who have suggested otherwise. He told The Post that he advised McDougal not to sell the story and he was never interested in buying it nor did he shop it around. McDougal, meanwhile, confirmed that she sought advice from Rendón, but claims she was unaware of the effort to enlist him to help find a buyer for the story.