Former doorman involved in story of alleged Trump affair speaks

A doorman who was reportedly paid by the National Enquirer to keep quiet about a rumor regarding Donald Trump's sex l...

Posted: Apr 13, 2018 6:54 AM
Updated: Apr 13, 2018 6:54 AM

A doorman who was reportedly paid by the National Enquirer to keep quiet about a rumor regarding Donald Trump's sex life spoke out in a statement Thursday afternoon.

"Today I awoke 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," the doorman, Dino Sajudin, said in a statement obtained by CNN. "I can confirm that while working at 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."

Sajudin's suggestion that Trump fathered a child out of wedlock has not been independently confirmed by any of the outlets that have investigated the story.

Earlier Thursday, the publisher of the National Enquirer pushed back hard after two different reports indicated that the tabloid had paid Sajudin.

American Media Inc., the parent company of the Enquirer, said Thursday it "categorically denies" the allegation at the center of bombshell stories from the New Yorker and the Associated Press.

The two outlets reported that AMI paid $30,000 in late 2015 to Sajudin, a former doorman at a Trump building, to prevent him from publicizing a rumor that Trump fathered a child out of wedlock. Sajudin told the tabloid he had heard Trump fathered a child with a Trump employee in the late 1980s, according to the reports.

In a practice called "catch and kill," the publication bought the exclusive rights to Sajudin's story and then buried it as a favor to Trump, the reports said.

Ronan Farrow, the author of the New Yorker story, told CNN's "New Day" on Thursday that the order to stop the reporting came from David Pecker, the publisher of the National Enquirer and Trump's friend.

"This is about the most powerful people in the country having the ability to silence and change the news narrative at will," Farrow said. "I think the public should know that."

The story also mentioned Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen; Farrow reported that he spoke to two former AMI employees who "said they believed that Cohen was in close contact with AMI executives while the company's reporters were looking into Sajudin's story."

"AMI categorically denies that Donald Trump or Michael Cohen had anything to do with its decision not to pursue a story about a 'love child' that it determined was not credible," AMI said in its statement Thursday. "The suggestion that David Pecker has ever used company funds to 'shut down' this or any investigation is not true. In addition, AMI and Mr. Pecker emphatically deny any suggestion that there might have been be any "partnership" created which might influence any business ties in regard to AMI. These claims are reckless, unsubstantiated, and false."

AMI also reportedly paid former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 in August 2016 for her story about a nine-month affair with Trump. The deal also reportedly included a deal to publish regular columns by McDougal on aging and fitness. The National Enquirer never ran her story either and only ran a small portion of the columns that were agreed to. AMI has said that McDougall did not produce the columns, according to the New Yorker. Trump has denied having an affair with McDougal.

"This establishes a pattern now," said Farrow.

Related: CNN Poll - Most Americans think National Enquirer is covering for Trump

The New Yorker reported that soon after it contacted AMI for comment on the story, the company's celebrity gossip website, Radar Online, published its own story about the scandal and the payment to Sajudin. Radar's story said that The Enquirer decided not to publish because it determined the rumor of the affair was untrue. It said it then released Sajudin from the terms of the contract that stopped him from talking with other media outlets.

The Radar story also quoted Enquirer editor and AMI executive Dylan Howard, who, according to Farrow, met with journalists and an attorney from the Associated Press last summer as the AP was investigating the matter.

"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.

In a statement of his own, Howard said it is "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."

"Paying for information has long been a practice of The National Enquirer and to suggest that it has only paid for, and not run, stories about any particular person is absurd. Fortunately, the First Amendment does not play politics," Howard said. "The fact that no other news organization has subsequently been able to validate the story after AMI released the subject from his exclusivity clause confirms the basis for our editorial decision. For a fuller and more accurate portrayal of the facts, please read the full story on RadarOnline."

But The New Yorker and the Associated Press both talked to staffers of The National Enquirer who said they were told not to pursue the story even after Sajudin gave them the tip. The New Yorker and the AP said they were not able to confirm the facts behind the rumor, and that members of the family involved in the story denied it to the two outlets. Neither named the woman or the child.

Related: 'Catch and kill' - How a tabloid shields Trump from troublesome stories

Trump's personal attorney, Cohen, has separately said he paid $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford, a porn actress who performs under the name Stormy Daniels, to remain silent about her alleged affair with Trump. Federal authorities are apparently investigating that payment, having executed search warrants this week for evidence about that payment. Trump has denied having an affair with Clifford.

The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

-- CNN's Sonia Moghe contributed reporting.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497379

Reported Deaths: 9907
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34085530
DeSoto31806398
Hinds31796621
Jackson24303377
Rankin21852387
Lee15413233
Madison14513278
Jones13770241
Forrest13401250
Lauderdale11936314
Lowndes10908184
Lamar10461135
Pearl River9428237
Lafayette8450137
Hancock7690126
Washington7361156
Oktibbeha7110129
Monroe6713173
Warren6635175
Neshoba6606204
Pontotoc6603101
Panola6458131
Marshall6378132
Bolivar6264145
Union595194
Pike5780152
Alcorn5630100
Lincoln5416134
George490479
Scott470698
Tippah464981
Prentiss464181
Leflore4626143
Itawamba4590104
Adams4570119
Tate4539109
Copiah444691
Simpson4419116
Wayne438572
Yazoo437586
Covington427194
Sunflower4215104
Marion4206107
Coahoma4114104
Leake407287
Newton380879
Grenada3691108
Stone358264
Tishomingo355991
Attala330189
Jasper328065
Winston312891
Clay305875
Chickasaw296567
Clarke290294
Calhoun277645
Holmes266587
Smith262550
Yalobusha232347
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217663
Greene215448
Lawrence211140
Perry204555
Amite203454
Webster201645
Noxubee184940
Montgomery178956
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167338
Tunica158539
Benton147038
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131037
Humphreys128838
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104339
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 811551

Reported Deaths: 15101
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1138721885
Mobile720161315
Madison51829685
Shelby37203339
Baldwin37018538
Tuscaloosa34853599
Montgomery33879718
Lee23097239
Calhoun22095468
Morgan20584368
Etowah19727496
Marshall18224298
Houston17270405
St. Clair15884337
Cullman15257289
Limestone15177197
Elmore14944283
Lauderdale14060294
Talladega13653270
DeKalb12530258
Walker11055363
Blount10071174
Autauga9874146
Jackson9760177
Coffee9171188
Dale8850180
Colbert8768200
Tallapoosa7028194
Escambia6714127
Covington6661179
Chilton6571160
Russell623458
Franklin5926105
Chambers5553142
Marion4942126
Dallas4848199
Clarke472681
Pike4713105
Geneva4557126
Winston4456101
Lawrence4247116
Bibb421186
Barbour355274
Marengo333889
Monroe329062
Randolph324663
Butler323694
Pickens313479
Henry310365
Hale308586
Cherokee299257
Fayette289779
Washington250850
Cleburne245758
Crenshaw243075
Clay238867
Macon229862
Lamar214846
Conecuh185051
Coosa177338
Lowndes173061
Wilcox166738
Bullock151744
Perry137940
Sumter130738
Greene125344
Choctaw86527
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A cold front passing through our area overnight will bring into our area some of the coolest temperatures of the season so far. We will see most of the highs this weekend only in the upper 60s to lower 70s. While overnight lows will drop off down into the 40s Saturday night.
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