A former Trump Tower doorman is speaking out about reports that he was paid $30,000 in hush money after he heard that Trump had once fathered a child with a former employee back in the ’80s.
In a statement Thursday, Dino Sajudin, corroborated reports of the agreement, also saying he was instructed to lay off one of Trump’s former housekeepers at the time because, as he was told, she was the mother of Trump’s illegitimate child.
“Today I woke up to learn that a confidential agreement that I had with AMI (The National Enquirer) with regard to a story about President Trump was leaked to the press,” Sajudin said in a statement obtained by CNN. “I can confirm that while working for Trump World Tower I was instructed not to criticize President Trump’s former housekeeper due to a prior relationship she had with President Trump which produced a child.”
According to the New Yorker, The National Inquirer paid Sajudin $30,000 in late 2015 for the rights to a “rumor he’d heard about Trump’s sex life” — and then never ran a story.
Dino Sajudin told the Enquirer that he had heard that Trump, then a candidate for the presidency, had fathered a secret love child 29 years ago with an employee, according to National Inquirer sister publication Radar Online. The unidentified woman vehemently denied she had an affair with Trump to the Associated Press and the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow, who also published a report about the payment.
Radar, another AMI outlet, was the first to publish the story after the New Yorker had sent AMI a request for comment.
The AP also reported the hush money payment was made to the doorman.
“The Associated Press confirmed the details of the Enquirer’s payment through a review of a confidential contract and interviews with dozens of current and former employees of the Enquirer and its parent company, American Media Inc.,” the AP wrote on Thursday. “Sajudin got $30,000 in exchange for signing over the rights, ‘in perpetuity,’ to a rumor he’d heard about Trump’s sex life — that the president had fathered a child with an employee at Trump World Tower, a skyscraper he owns near the United Nations.”
Sajudin was subject to a $1 million penalty if he disclosed either the rumor or the terms of the deal, per the Associated Press investigation.
Enquirer editor-in-chief Dylan Howard defended the payment as well as the decision not to publish, saying that its reporters had failed to substantiate the story.
“When we realized we would be unable to publish, and other media outlets approached the source about his tale, we released Sajudin from the exclusivity clause that had accompanied his $30,000 payment, freeing him to tell his story to whomever he wanted,” Howard told Radar. “Many organizations have since tried … including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Associated Press.”
“The latest is Ronan Farrow from The New Yorker, who is calling our staff, and seems to think this is another example of how The Enquirer, by supposedly ‘catching and killing’ stories about President Trump is a threat to national security,” Howard continued. “We’re flattered by this attention, and wish that it were true. Unfortunately, however, Dino Sajudin is one fish that swam away.”
“A disconcerting view of the level of hysteria and partisanship in American politics that not reporting a story, that multiple media outlets have now also confirmed to be untrue, has become headline news,” Howard said in a statement issued Thursday.
In its own statement, AMI also “categorically” denied that Trump or his attorney Michael Cohen “had anything to do with its decision not to pursue a story about a ‘love child’ that it determined was not credible. The suggestion that David Pecker has ever used company funds to ‘shut down’ this or any investigation is not true.”
The White House did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on this story. A spokesman for AMI told TheWrap Thursday: “American Media Inc., has, and will continue to, comply with any and all requests that do not jeopardize or violate its protected sources or materials pursuant to our first amendment rights.”
The story comes amid renewed attention on AMI and Trump, including a federal inquiry into the company relationship with Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen, whose offices were raided by the FBI on Monday.
The former TT doorman stands by his story of Trump’s alleged affair. pic.twitter.com/QkY8RBfYnB
— Sonia Moghe (@soniamoghe) April 12, 2018