WSJ: Cohen arranged hush money for ex-Playboy model

A report in the Wall Street Journal says President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, facilitated a payment of $1.6 million last year to a former Playboy model who claimed she had become pregnant by Elliott Broidy, a leading GOP fundraiser.

Posted: Apr 16, 2018 4:10 PM
Updated: Apr 16, 2018 4:32 PM

President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, facilitated a payment plan totaling $1.6 million last year to a former Playboy model who says she became pregnant by Elliott Broidy, a leading GOP fundraiser, a source tells CNN.

The payment was a personal injury settlement, and included a nondisclosure contract, forbidding the woman from discussing the deal, according to the source, who did not want to be named for fear of retribution. It is not known what type of personal injury claim the woman made.

Keith Davidson, the former attorney for Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, represented the woman, making it the second known "hush money" deal Davidson brokered with Cohen. Both Daniels and McDougal allege they had affairs with Trump and that they were paid to be quiet about those encounters. Trump has denied relationships with both Daniels and McDougal.

The agreement says the model accuses Broidy of being the father, the source said. The woman accusing Broidy has refused to show proof of pregnancy, according to the source, who has reviewed the contract. In the contract, Broidy denied the undefined personal injury claims, the source said.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel accepted the resignation of Broidy as the deputy finance chairman of the RNC, a source familiar with the call told CNN, shortly after The Wall Street Journal first reported the payment.

In a statement, Broidy admitted to the relationship but did not address whether he impregnated the woman. He said Cohen reached out to him after being contacted by Davidson and said he retained Trump's lawyer "after he informed me about his prior relationship with Mr. Davidson."

"First, I would like to sincerely apologize to my wife and family for the hurt that I have caused. I acknowledge I had a consensual relationship with a Playboy Playmate," Broidy said in a statement. "At the end of our relationship, this woman shared with me that she was pregnant. She alone decided that she did not want to continue with the pregnancy and I offered to help her financially during this difficult period. We have not spoken since that time.

CNN has reached out to Cohen for comment.

Payments were to be made on quarterly basis

The source says it allows the woman to speak about and take legal action concerning her alleged pregnancy if she so chooses.

The contract reads that whether or not she is "indeed pregnant as she alleges" she has all her legal rights to seek "the paternity of the alleged child," and any support, financial help, or otherwise.

According to another source familiar with Broidy's agreement with the former Playboy model, she was to be paid the $1.6 million over a period of two years on a quarterly basis, and the first payment was made in December 2017.

This means she would not have been paid the entirety of the $1.6 million yet -- and there's a chance she may not get the rest of the money.

"First, we have to find out who breached the agreement," the source told CNN when asked whether she will eventually receive the full $1.6 million. "The question about who violated the agreement has not yet been discussed."

The person added that so far, "all payments have been made pursuant to the agreement."

Raids targeted records of payments to porn star, ex-Playmate

The FBI raided Cohen's office, hotel room and home earlier this week. CNN has reported that FBI agents were seeking communications between the President and Cohen concerning the "Access Hollywood" tape that surfaced prior to the 2016 presidential election. The FBI raids also sought information that included payments allegedly made to keep women silent about affairs with Trump more than a decade ago.

Federal officials also sought information on business dealings that do not involve his work, according to prosecutors.

In February, Cohen admitted having paid $130,000 to Daniels, an adult film actress who alleges that she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. Cohen is in a legal dispute over a hush agreement Daniels signed before the 2016 campaign to keep quiet about the alleged affair.

Another source familiar with the matter told CNN on Tuesday that a focus of the raids was to seek records on the deal set up between McDougal, an ex-Playboy Playmate, and a company that reportedly paid her during the 2016 presidential campaign cycle to keep her account of an alleged relationship with Trump from publication.

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