Two people inside the offices of talent agency WME attempted to remove damning information from the Wikipedia pages of its Co-CEO Ari Emanuel and one of his parent company’s clients, American Media Incorporated, a new report says.
In July, a user with an IP address originating from the agency’s New York headquarters attempted to scrub sections detailing AMI Chief Executive Officer David Pecker’s accused role in the scandal surrounding President Trump and Playboy model Karen McDougal, the Daily Beast reported late Friday.
The report said a second user also removed several blocks of text from Emanuel’s personal page about a 2008 sexual harassment case involving the agency. A spokesperson for Emanuel declined to comment on the matter.
Anyone with access to WME’s wireless internet network would be registered to their IP address, one individual familiar with the company told TheWrap (a similar sentiment was echoed in the Daily Beast). Wikipedia pages are edited by the site’s user community, so the attempted changes were all eventually undone. An AMI spokesperson did not return TheWrap’s request for comment on the report.
The effort to clean up Pecker’s profile, the Beast reported, was largely initiated to distance the media owner from President Trump. In addition to removing a section that referred to the men as “close friends,” it also stripped large chunks of backstory about Pecker and the alleged coverup of Trump’s accused affair with Playmate McDougal, the story said.
In 2016, McDougal was paid $150,000 by the National Enquirer to exclusively divulge details of an affair she said she had with Trump 10 years prior, the Wall Street Journal reported in February. The Enquirer is the arguable crown jewel in Pecker’s empire, and McDougal’s story was bought but never published.
The model would later come to negotiate a settlement with AMI that released her rights, leaving her free to speak about her experience with other outlets.
Endeavor is the holdings company which boasts WME, the sports franchise Ultimate Fighting Championship and the fashion and live events agency IMG — which represents Pecker’s AMI and its various publications in the brand and licensing space.
AMI publications include major celebrity titles like Us Weekly and Star, as well as a robust lifestyle category that includes Men’s Journal, Muscle & Fitness and Hers.