The company that owns the National Enquirer, a backer of Donald Trump, agreed to pay $150,000 to a former Playboy centerfold model for her story of an affair a decade ago with the Republican presidential nominee, but then didn’t publish it, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the matter.
The tabloid-newspaper publisher reached an agreement in early August with Karen McDougal, the 1998 Playmate of the Year. American Media Inc., which owns the Enquirer, hasn’t published anything about what she has told friends was a consensual romantic relationship she had with Mr. Trump in 2006. At the time, Mr. Trump was married to his current wife, Melania.
Quashing stories that way is known in the tabloid world as “catch and kill.”Alex Weprin reports at Politico:
As The Washington Posted noted in March, the Enquirer endorsed Trump, and pushed for him to run back in 2011. Trump has also written numerous columns for the tabloid.
During the Republican primary, the Enquirer published a number of stories about Trump's opponents, accusing Dr. Ben Carson of leaving a sponge in a patient's brain, and Ted Cruz's father of being involved in President Kennedy's assassination. Trump, meanwhile, has been spared as a target of the tabloid.