A former Trump World Tower doorman with a salacious tale about the man who would be president sold its rights to the parent company of National Enquirer, which promptly killed the story, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.
Dylan Howard, editor-in-chief of the Enquirer, denied the company was "catching and killing" stories to protect Trump, saying the story was not published because the claims could not be proven.
Enquirer staffers, however, told The New Yorker and the Associated Press that reporters were pulled off the story, which claimed Trump had fathered a love-child almost three decades ago. Both outlets acknowledged, however, that they were unable to prove the story.
Dino Sajudin signed a $30,000 contract with A.M.I. in late 2015, several months into Trump's campaign, providing exclusive rights to his story. The deal included a $1 million penalty should Sajudin tell his story to anyone else without A.M.I. permission.
The payout also came eight months before the company struck a $150,000 deal with a former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal for exclusive rights to her tale of an affair with Trump. McDougal's story was also not published.
The Enquirer endorsed Trump's campaign, and the AP notes the tabloid published articles claiming Trump opponent Hillary Clinton was a bisexual "secret sex freak" and survived on a "narcotics cocktail."
RadarOnline, a sister publication of the Enquirer, published details of Sajudin's tale Wednesday, hours before The New Yorker and AP published their stories. Sajudin declined to speak with either organization, and both cited as their sources legal documents as well as multiple current and former A.M.I. employees.
"President Donald Trump fathered a secret love child with a Trump Organization employee — a gorgeous 29-year-old medical graduate who is currently living in California!'" the RadarOnline article says. "That’s the bombshell claim of a disaffected former Trump staffer who is peddling the allegation to various media outlets, including The National Enquirer, a sister publication of RadarOnline.com."
The woman told AP she never had an affair with Trump. The "father of the family" told The New Yorker that Sajudin's claims were "completely false and ridiculous."
Sajudin said he heard the tale from employees and residents of Trump World Tower and passed a polygraph test, RadarOnline reported. But the online magazine said a four-week investigation by Enquirer reporters failed to find proof the story was true.
Michael Cohen, Trump's personal attorney, told AP that he discussed Sajudin’s story with the magazine when the tabloid was working on it. Cohen later paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to ensure her silence in the days before Trump was elected.
On Monday, the FBI raided Cohen's offices, and federal authorities are investigating possible financial or election law violations.
The Enquirer's Howard said the magazine released Sajudin from his exclusivity clause when he was approached by the other outlets. Sajudin declined to discuss his story, they reported.
“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 said. "Dino Sajudin is one fish that swam away."