Karen McDougal, a former Playboy playmate who was famously paid by the National Enquirer not to speak elsewhere about her accusations of an affair with Donald Trump, is suing Fox News over comments made by Tucker Carlson.
The primetime host compared her situation to “extortion” on Dec. 10, 2018, referencing her and adult film star Stormy Daniels, who similarly made claims of an affair with Trump: “Two women approached Donald Trump and threatened to ruin his career and humiliate his family if he doesn’t give them money. Now, that sounds like a classic case of extortion.”
McDougal’s lawsuit, filed in New York Thursday, says all of Carlson’s statements about McDougal are “untrue,” but takes particular issue with his framing them as “undisputed” facts on a show he advertises as the “sworn enemy of the lying.” The suit says McDougal never approached Trump and threatened him for money, as Carlson suggested on air.
A representative for the network told TheWrap, “Fox News will vigorously defend Tucker Carlson against these meritless claims.”
Two days after the episode of Carlson’s show during which he made the “extortion” comments, the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc., was given immunity by federal prosecutors in connection with the $150,000 hush-money payment the tabloid gave to Karen McDougal in order to keep her from talking about her relationship with Trump.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said the payment, which was made to McDougal right before the 2016 presidential election, was done “to influence” the election.