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National Enquirer reportedly bought and never published a doorman's salacious rumor about Trump
The National Enquirer paid a former doorman of one of President Trump's New York City buildings $30,000 in 2015 for rights to a rumor he'd heard about Trump allegedly fathering an illegitimate child in the 1980s with one of his employees, then killed the story, The Associated Press and The New Yorker report. The doorman, Dino Sajudin, apparently faced a $1 million penalty if he discussed the story with anyone else.
Sajudin went as far as to take a lie-detector test to prove to American Media Inc. — the publisher of the National Enquirer — that high-level employees in the Trump organization had personally told him the rumors. The New Yorker says it could not independently verify that Trump fathered an illegitimate child, and the family of the daughter named in the rumors denied them, or declined to comment. Regardless, "AMI's payment to Sajudin is significant because it establishes the company's pattern of buying and burying stories that could be damaging to Trump during the presidential campaign," The New Yorker writes.
AMI claims Sajudin's story was never published because it couldn't be proven. "I do not believe that story was true," said one of the reporters, Sharon Churcher. "I believed from the beginning it was not true." Another former AMI reporter, Jerry George, wasn't so sure: "AMI doesn't go around cutting checks for $30,000 and then not using the information," he said.
Eight months after Sajudin's contract, the National Enquirer paid $150,000 to a former Playboy playmate who claimed to have had an affair with Trump. Likewise, the publication never ran the story, a tactic known as "catch and kill." Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, also paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 before the election to keep quiet about her own claims regarding an affair with Trump. Read the full report about Sajudin's claims at The New Yorker and The Associated Press.