(CNN) — Donald Trump once tried to offer Karen McDougal money after they had been intimate, the former Playboy model told Anderson Cooper Thursday in an exclusive interview on CNN.
“After we had been intimate, he tried to pay me, and I actually didn’t know how to take that,” she said.
When Cooper asked if Trump tried to hand her money, McDougal said, “He did.”
“I don’t even know how to describe the look on my face,” she said. “It must have been so sad.”
McDougal appeared on CNN to tell her story of an alleged affair she had with now-President Donald Trump over a decade ago and its emotional fallout, as well as to air her grievances with the company she’s suing over the story.
As for Trump’s wife, Melania, who Trump was married to during the alleged affair, McDougal expressed remorse and apologized.
“What can you say except I’m sorry?” she said. “I’m sorry. I wouldn’t want it done to me.”
Thursday’s sitdown is McDougal’s first televised interview since she filed a lawsuit earlier this week against American Media Inc., the company that owns The National Enquirer, to be released from an agreement with the company.
In response to Trump’s offer of money after the first time she said they had sex, McDougal said she told Trump, “That’s not me. I’m not that kind of girl.”
“And he said, ‘Oh,’ and he said, ‘You’re really special,'” she said, adding that “it hurt me that he saw me in that light.”
The White House has said Trump denies the affair.
Shortly before the presidential election, The Wall Street Journal published a story that said American Media Inc. paid $150,000 to McDougal, but did not run her story in a tabloid maneuver known as “catch and kill.” The contract, according to the Journal, did not require the Enquirer to run the story and compelled McDougal’s silence.
A corporate spokesman for American Media Inc. provided a statement to CNN in response to the suit on Tuesday, saying McDougal “has been free to respond to press inquiries about her relationship with President Trump since 2016” and that the company had not “silenced” her.
The New Yorker published an article last month that referenced an eight-page document McDougal wrote about the alleged affair, which a friend provided to the magazine and McDougal confirmed.
— Eli Watkins
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