Upclosed staff | Mar 20, 2018

Karen McDougal, the Former Playmate, is Suing Donald Trump

Karen McDougal, an American model, actress, and former playmate, is suing American Media Inc. 

The New York Times reported on March 20, 2018, that Karen McDougal is suing A.M.I., the owner of The National Enquirer -- the celebrity gossip site that had paid Karen $150,000 just a  few days before the 2016 election for exclusive rights to the story of her affair with Donald Trump. The National Enquirer took the story and buried it, allegedly to protect Trump, who is friends with David Pecker, the chairman of A.M.I.

Just two months ago, in January, Wall Street Journal had reported that in October 2016, a month before the 2016 election, Trump's lawyer had paid $130,000 to porn star Stephanie Clifford (Stormy Daniels) to keep her from discussing her affair with Trump. Stephanie sued Trump in March 2018.

Both Karen and Stephanie are trying to get around the agreement that requires them to resolve their disputes privately instead of going to court. Trump has denied the affairs.

In the years 2006-2007, Karen was in a relationship with Trump, who was married to Melania Knauss since 2005. The relationship went on for nine months up to April 2007. In August 2007, Karen was spotted with Bruce Willis on a yacht in Porto Cervo Sardinia.

Who is Karen McDougal?

Karen was born on March 23, 1971, in Merrillville, Indiana. She is of Cherokee Indian, Scottish and Irish descent. 

She attended River Valley High School. Growing up, she was very keen on dancing; her childhood dream was to become a ballerina and she studied tap dancing and ballet in school. In high school, she was a cheerleader. 

Later, she studied Elementary Education at Ferris State University at Big Rapids, Michigan. After finishing the college, she became a pre-kindergarten teacher in a Michigan suburb. 

Modeling career

While in Michigan, in 1997, at the age of 26, Karen participated and won the local Venus Swimwear swimsuit competition. David Mecey, a Playboy photographer, noticed her and invited her for a test shoot. She accepted the offer, passed the test, and became Miss December 1997. The pictorial was shot by acclaimed photographers Richard Fegley and Stephen Wayda.  

The following year, she impressed Hugh Hefner and her fans, becoming the Playmate of the Year and winning $100,000 and a special edition silver Shelby Series 1 convertible. Her Michigan license plate read "PMOY 98." Her popularity continued to soar and she was voted runner-up of Sexiest Playmate of the 1990s, with Pamela Anderson winning the top spot.

In 1999, she ventured into fitness modeling and became the first woman to appear on the cover of Men's Fitness. 

In 2004, Karen, alongside Pamela AndersonAudra Lynn and Tishara Cousino, was photographed by David LaChapelle for Italian Vogue.

Acting

In 2001, she appeared in Timur Bekmambetov-directed movie The Arena. Lisa Dergan was her co-star and it was produced by Roger Corman.  The following year, she contested to replace Brooke Burke as the host for the travel show, Wild On!, on E!. She failed to impress the judges who chose Cindy Taylor for the part. Later, she landed a few cameo roles in Joe Dirt, Charlie's Angels, Grind, and The Girl Next Door. She also appeared in a David Lee Roth music video.

Other tidbits

  • Karen suffers from aquaphobia - a persistent and irrational fear of water. 
  • She is an avid motorcyclist and car collector. 
  • She has two tattoos: one of a cat and the other, of a cross. 
  • In January 2017, she had her breast implants removed due to health reasons. 
  • In 2018, McDougal stated she is a registered Republican.
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