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American Media Inc., which paid $150,000 to silence former Playboy model Karen McDougal about her alleged affair with Donald Trump, almost got its money back — but then asked that the agreement with Michael Cohen be ripped up.
An agreement to hand off the rights to Cohen, the then-“fixer” for Trump, was drawn up and signed by AMI chief David Pecker on Sept. 30, 2016. Cohen had also signed it, according to documents released by the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York.
“Pecker instructed a consultant who worked for AMI to complete the assignment through a company unaffiliated with AMI,” according to the document.
The story, of course, was the infamous “catch and kill” piece for which AMI bought the rights — but actually had no intention of publishing.
The consultant delivered the document and received an invoice from the shell corporation for allegedly an “an agreed upon ‘flat fee’ for advisory services.”
“However, in or about October 2016, after the assignment agreement was signed, but before Cohen paid the $125,000, Pecker contacted Cohen and told him the deal was off and that Cohen should tear up the assignment agreement,” according to the statement.
Pecker and certain officials from AMI were granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for their cooperation in the probe.
Cohen on Wednesday was sentenced to three years in prison for his financial misdeeds and tax evasion, as well as campaign finance violations. Cohen said he regretted he was paid to cover up Trump’s “dirty deeds” over the years.
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