Days after filing a lawsuit to break her silence, former Playboy model Karen McDougal described her alleged affair with President Trump in an emotional CNN interview. McDougal told Anderson Cooper that she first met Trump during filming at the Playboy Mansion in 2006, a few months after Melania Trump gave birth to Barron, Trump's youngest son. McDougal, 1998's Playmate of the Year, said she was intimate with Trump "many dozens of times" during the 10-month affair that followed. She said that the first time they had sex, Trump made her feel "terrible" by trying to hand her cash. "I looked at him and said, 'That's not me, I'm not that kind of girl,'" she said. "I got over it, but it did hurt."
McDougal—who said she is a Republican and voted for Trump—said they saw each other around five times a month in what she described as a loving relationship with a "charming" and "caring" man, the Washington Post reports. "There were real feelings between the two of us," she said, adding that she thought the affair could "maybe" lead to marriage. In response to a question from Cooper, she said Trump did not use birth control. McDougal said she ended the affair because guilt over the betrayal of Melania Trump was tearing her apart. When Cooper asked what she would say to Melania now, McDougal said: "What can you say except, 'I'm sorry—I'm sorry." In her lawsuit, McDougal says that as part of an effort to silence her, the owner of the National Enquirer paid for rights to her story but never ran it.