A Trump World Tower doorman was paid $30,000 in late 2015 by the National Enquirer to keep a rumor about a Donald Trump illegitimate child to himself or pay $1 million in a penalty for speaking out.
Doorman Dino Sajudin told the National Enquirer he had a tip for them. After listening, investigating, and subjecting him to lie-detector test, the tabloid owned by American Media, Inc, which is run by Trump friend and confidante David Pecker, paid the $30,000 and warned Sujudin that if he spoke about it, he’d face a $1 million penalty. Now it’s being looked at as a payoff to keep mum about a potentially scandalous rumor about Trump which could have been another unwelcome story during Trump’s campaign for the US presidency.
Thursday Sajudin released a brief statement which appears to confirm the affair and child borne of it. He also said that he “awoke” to find the confidential agreement had been “leaked to the press.”
“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.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. An Investigation Into the National Enquirer Payoff Was Done by Reporters & Now is Being Looked at by Federal Investigators
The AP did a review, interviewed dozens of National Enquirer staff, current and former, and parent company A.M.I. What it learned was that “Sajudin got $30,000 in exchange for signing over the rights, ‘in perpetuity,’ to a rumor he’d heard about Trump’s sex life — that the president had fathered an illegitimate child with an employee at Trump World Tower, a skyscraper he owns near the United Nations.”
The deal was if Sajudin talked about it with anyone, he’d be subject to a $1 million penalty. Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, whose office, home and hotel were raided by the FBI Monday told the AP “he had discussed Sajudin’s story with the magazine when the tabloid was working on it. He said he was acting as a Trump spokesman when he did so and denied knowing anything beforehand about the Enquirer payment to the ex-doorman.”
2. ‘Radar Online’ Published a Story on the Sajudin Payout & Rumor: Trump Fathered ‘Secret Love Child‘
The National Enquirer sister publication Radar Online wrote, “Donald Trump father a secret love child with a Trump Organization employee — a gorgeous 29-year-old medical graduate who is currently living in California!”
Radar Online said it’s a “bombshell claim of a disaffected former Trump staffer …”
Radar said Sajudin called an Enquirer tip line “in the early stages of the 2016 campaign and “sensationally claimed to reporters and editors at The Enquirer that he’d heard the ‘love child’ scuttlebutt from other Trump Organization employees.”
Radar claims emails show The Eniquirer “jumped to publish the story, and feared tipping off the Trump camp.” In November of 2015, signed Sajudin to a $30,000 contract to be paid ‘upon publication’ for information he had about an alleged Trump ‘love child,’ according to documents reviewed by Radar.
Sajudin was subjected to a lie detector test but wanted the $30,000 up font. The magazine said they’d give him $500 if he passed. And he did. The questions included, Radar reported:
1) “Did you hear from employees and residents of the Trump World Towers that (Name Redacted) had a child with Donald Trump?” Answer: “Yes”
2) “Did you hear from (Name Redacted) that (Name Redacted) had a child with Donald Trump?” Answer: “Yes”
3) “Did you overhear (Name Redacted) saying that (Name Redacted) got knocked up by the boss?” Answer: “Yes”
4) “Are you telling the truth regarding information that you are providing to The National Enquirer?” Answer: “Yes”
Radar online report the polygrapher concluded that “the subject’s reactions to the relevant test questions, that the subject was being truthful regarding the above-mentioned issues.”
The Enquirer paid him the $30,000.
But Radar says after weeks of investigation, the Enquirer claimed it deemed the story false and “we released Sajudin from the exclusivity clause that had accompanied his $30,000 payment, freeing him to tell his story to whomever he wanted, Enquirer editor Dylan Howard was quoted as saying in Radar. “He was the fish that swam away.” Referring to the catch-and-release plot of paying for a story to either hold to protect someone or use for a bigger fish.
3. The AP Heard Another Story From Enquirer Staffers. The Story Was Not Ever Pursued
The AP interviewed staff who said they were “ordered by top editors to stop pursuing the story before completing potentially promising reporting threads.” Reporters were told the SOP of doing stakeouts or other “tabloid tactics” were not employed as was done when the Enquirer had reporters Dumpster-dive for evidence of the John Edwards mistress scandal.
One former reporter and editor told the AP the “$1 million penalty in Sajudin’s agreement was larger than anything he had seen in his Enquirer career.”
The editor explained that he’d done catch-and-kill contracts on celebrities for the tabloid and said the Enquirer was not in the habit of paying upfront.
And information in an A.M.I. memo, a timeline report by either private or company investigators, seems to back up the fact that Sajudin was telling he truth based on the level of detail provided including, “…at the time of the affair, Donald was ending his marriage to Ivana and had started the affair with Marla Maples. We have not contacted (the woman) or her daughter’s families or any other Trump employees because we’ve been trying to obtain photos of our own of (redacted) While our stakeouts have not produced photos yet, we’ve obtained dozens of strong social media pictures …”
The memo goes on to say that over the years, both the mother and daughter worked for the Trump organization and the woman’s husband was given a job as a driver for Trump. The “love child” earned a medical degree and then goes on to provide very identifying details Heavy will retain for now.
4. The Parallels to the Enquirer Payout to Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal Can’t Be Ignored
As with Sajudin, the $150,000 hush money paid to Karen McDougal was also made by A.M.I. The New York Times reported late Wednesday night that the feds who raided Cohen are looking at the Trump-Cohen-A.M.I connection.
The Times reported that Cohen was in “regular contact with company executives during the presidential campaign, when The Enquirer regularly heralded Mr. Trump and attacked his rivals.”
A.M.I chief Pecker said he’s never buried negative Trump stories but did admit that the silencing agreement with McDougal kept her quiet. But AMI claims she was paid to be a columnist for a health and wellness magazine owned by AMI. McDougal says different. She is suing to get out of the non-disclosure agreement she signed.
5. Dino Sajudin Has Been the Subject of a Blog That Alleges Misconduct
Meanwhile a website was created in 2014 calling Dino Sajudin a “scam Artist and wanna be gangster.” The website appears to be an attempt by a scorned former partner or associate to get revenge on Sajudin and sully his name in the public eye. It includes links to stories about people the website’s creator says are connected with him. It also includes a post accusing him of scamming women on the dating site Plenty of Fish, along with a post about how he befriended a person while working for Trump to gain their trust and then use information against them and a few other salacious posts.
The AP contacted Sajudin, and while he “confirmed he’d been paid to be the tabloid’s anonymous source” he said he’d sue the National Enquirer if they print a story about him. Radar Online already did. And AP and soon countless other outlets.
Sajudin also told the AP he’d “talk only in exchange for payment.”
Cohen said the payoff to Sajudin was “money for a baseless story.”