I was in love with him


Ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal revealed intimate details about her “love” affair with former President Trump Friday — while announcing her surprising pick for president in 2024.

“I’m hoping DeSantis gets in. I’d be willing to work for his campaign,” the 52-year-old told the Daily Mail.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to announce his own widely anticipated White House bid next week.

McDougal — one of the women at the center of Trump’s Manhattan “hush money” charges — is a lifelong Republican who voted for him in 2016.

“He can be crass and vulgar, but when he has his kind moments, it’s lovely to see because it shows there’s still a human in there,” she explained.

He needs to have more compassion for people in general — a lot more.”

McDougal described a tender 10-month relationship with the married then-reality TV star beginning in 2006.

“I was in love with him. He was in love with me. I know that because he told me all the time,” the actress told the Mail. “He’d say, ‘You’re my baby and I love you.’ He showed me off to his friends.”

Donald Trump with Playboy playmate Karen McDougal in 2006 Party.
Karen McDougal said she and Donald Trump met at a pool party at the Playboy Mansion in 2006.

Unlike alleged hush-money recipient Stormy Daniels, who has called sex with Trump, now 76, “the worst 90-seconds of my life,” McDougal harbors no ill will toward the man who would become the 45th president — and pointed out that he’s never denied their affair.

“His people have denied it, but he’s never denied it,” she said. “A reporter asked him: ‘Did you have an affair with Karen McDougal?’ and all he said was: ‘I’ve done nothing wrong.’

“He knows I’m telling the truth.”

Karen McDougal
“I was in love with him. He was in love with me. I know that because he told me all the time,” McDougal said.

Diving in with Donald

McDougal first met Trump at a Playboy Mansion pool party in June 2006, which Hugh Hefner threw for contestants of Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Trump, who had recently welcomed youngest son Barron with new wife Melania, quickly became smitten with the swimsuit-clad model, she said.

“He followed me around like a puppy dog, trying to get my attention. He took to me so much that the Bunny Mother said: ‘Wow, he really has a thing for you.’”

McDougal recalled that Trump issued a directive to his bodyguard, Keith Schiller: “Keith, get her number.”

The real estate mogul-turned-TV-star called her a few days later and asked her to have dinner at his Beverly Hills Hotel bungalow, where she told the Mail they had sex for the first time after having room service deliver steak and mashed potatoes.

Karen McDougal
McDougal recalled that Trump issued a directive to his bodyguard, Keith Schiller: “Keith, get her number.”

“After dinner, things heated up and Trump made his move. I was attracted to him, but it wasn’t like I was looking to jump into bed with Donald Trump, on the first night especially,” McDougal said.

She revealed that Trump “offered her money” afterward.

“I was dressed and ready to go, and I saw this stack of cash in his hand. I said, ‘I’m not that kind of girl,” McDougal said. “He knew he’d made a mistake when he saw how upset I was. He told me I was really special.”

FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks at his Mar-a-Lago estate Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Palm Beach, Fla. Timothy Parlatore, a key lawyer for former President Donald Trump says he's leaving the legal team, a move that comes as a special counsel investigation into the retention of classified documents shows signs of being in its final stages. Timothy Parlatore told The Associated Press that his departure had nothing to do with Trump and was not a reflection on his view of the Justice Departmentâs investigation, which he has long called misguided and overly aggressive, or on the strength of the governmentâs evidence. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
McDougal, who backed Trump in 2016, hopes Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis “gets in. I’d be willing to work for his campaign.”

However, she “cried all the way home” in the car with Schiller and thought that she’d never see the eventual president again.

“But we got past it,” she shared. “I got another call asking me to dinner, and I don’t know why, but I said yes.”

A 10-month affair — in which they saw each other roughly five or more times a month — followed, McDougal said, adding that she now feels “ashamed.”

“I knew he was married but at the time it was out of sight, out of mind. I was a different girl then, having fun and not thinking about things too deeply,” she confessed.

Karen McDougal
McDougal, seen in 2005, “cried all the way home” after Trump offered her money the first time they had sex.
Michael Neveux

‘I ended it’

Despite the media’s portrayal of her as a bitter former lover, the former Playmate said she ultimately dumped Trump after striking up a romance with “Die Hard” star Bruce Willis.

“I’m portrayed as the disgruntled woman, but I am not that woman. I ended it,” she said.

She said she was considering breaking up with Trump when “a family member came to town and we went to a bar and I met a lovely man named Bruce,” she said.

“I wasn’t cheating on Trump but Bruce and I were talking on the phone a lot already so that made it easier to end it. Why would I stay with a married man when Bruce was a nice guy, and single?” she explained.

In the months leading up to the 2016 election, she said she agreed to receive a “catch and kill” fee of $150,000 in exchange for not going public with the story of their romance.

“That suited me because I hadn’t really wanted the story to get out. I thought my contract was for work and that it was a win-win situation. I didn’t know the term catch-and-kill at that point. I was a pawn in that scenario because of all the stuff I wasn’t privy to,” she said.


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