Karen McDougal, the former Playboy Playmate who alleges she had an affair with President Trump, says she was in love with the then-reality television star with whom she had unprotected sex dozens of times after they met in 2006.
In her first television interview, McDougal told Anderson Cooper of CNN that she developed feelings for the then-real estate mogul during their 10-month relationship.
McDougal, 46, also told CNN that she and Trump had sex on their first date and that she went home afterward ‘crying in the backseat of a car’ when he offered her cash after they made love.
‘After we had been intimate, he tried to pay me, and I actually didn’t know how to take that,’ she said.
She said she was hurt by the cash offer, which she turned down.
‘I don’t even know how to describe the look on my face,’ she said. ‘It must have been so sad.’
‘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 denied the president had an affair with McDougal.
McDougal also tearfully recalls feeling guilty when she went to Trump’s apartment in Trump Tower and he showed her Melania Trump’s bedroom.
McDougal thought it was odd that Trump’s wife slept in a separate bedroom.
‘I thought maybe they were having issues,’ she said.
McDougal recalls feeling uncomfortable walking into the apartment of a married man whose wife just had a baby.
‘I couldn’t wait to get out of the apartment, I think,’ she said.
‘Doing something, doing something wrong is bad enough, and when you’re doing something wrong, and you’re in the middle of somebody else’s home or bed or whatever, that just puts it a little old stab in your heart, and I just couldn’t wait to get out of the apartment.
‘I wanted to go back to my hotel room.’
McDougal expressed regret over the affair, saying she felt guilty. Nonetheless, despite the guilt, she carried on with Trump for the better part of a year.
‘When I look back, I know it’s wrong,’ the 1998 Playmate of the Year said.
‘I’m really sorry for that. I know it’s the wrong thing to do.
‘But back in those days, I was a different girl, you know, I had fun. I was in the Playboy scene.
‘I was just enjoying life as much as I could. And when I got with him there were real feelings between the two of us. Not just myself, not just him.
‘There was a real relationship there, and I kind of out of sight, out of mind with everything else.
‘And deep inside, I did have a lot of guilt. But I still continued.’
‘What can you say except I’m sorry?’ she said
‘I’m sorry. I wouldn’t want it done to me.’
McDougal said that Trump’s rough persona in public is different from the man she knew.
She says Trump was ‘charming’ and ‘charismatic’.
When McDougal was asked if Trump had genuine feelings for her, she said: ‘Of course he did, mm-hm. I know he did.’
She said Trump ‘always’ told her that he loved her. The two even had nicknames for each other.
‘He would call me baby, or he’d call me beautiful Karen,’ McDougal said.
McDougal filed a lawsuit this week against the publisher of the National Enquirer, which allegedly bought the exclusive rights to her story about the affair with Trump and then never published in order to help him after he won the Republican nomination.
McDougal told CNN that she first met Trump in 2006, when NBC was filming an episode of Celebrity Apprentice at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles.
‘He said hello like he would to anybody and throughout the night, it was kind of obvious that there was an attraction from his part to me,’ McDougal said.
‘And I kind of blew it off.’
She said Trump continued with his courtship even though his wife at the time, Melania, had just given birth to their only son, Barron, in March.
‘I thought it was kind of cute and funny,’ McDougal says of Trump’s interest in her.
‘And at the end of the night, after striking up many conversations, he actually asked me to write my phone number down for him to keep.’
McDougal said that the relationship progressed and that she thought it had the potential for a long-term romance.
She said she was invited to Trump events that included his family. McDougal recalled meeting all of Trump’s children – with the exception of newborn Barron.
McDougal is photographed with Eric Trump, whom she described as a ‘friendly’ person. She said the two met at a release party for Trump Vodka.
At another party that took place soon afterward, she also met Ivanka Trump. McDougal said Donald Trump would often brag about his daughter and that he would tell her she was just as pretty as Ivanka.
‘You know, he’s very proud of Ivanka. As he should be,’ she said.
‘I mean, she’s a brilliant woman. She’s beautiful. That’s his daughter, and he should be proud of her.
‘He said I was beautiful like her.’
McDougal said that during their relationship, Donald Trump rarely mentioned his wife, Melania.
In the one instance in which Trump did bring up his wife, McDougal said he told her he admired her intellect and the fact that she spoke ‘four or five languages.’
McDougal said that Trump would pay for her flights whenever she would travel to meet him.