This is getting ridiculous. A Buzzfeed story published Thursday morning alleges, via Radar Online that a man named Dino Sajudin was paid $30,000 by a company called American Media Inc. for “the exclusive rights to a rumor” about Donald Trump having an illegitimate child with one of his employees in the ‘80s. Sajudin was a doorman:
Dino Sajudin, who worked at one of Trump’s New York establishments, is understood to have approached AMI’s National Enquirer with information he’d been told about Trump’s sex life in late 2015, after the real estate mogul announced he was running for president.
According to reports published in the Associated Press and the New Yorker on Thursday, Sajudin signed a contract that included a $1 million penalty if he spoke out about the information or the terms of the deal.
Their reports were published after Radar Online, another AMI publication, acknowledged the payment of $30,000, which it wrote was agreed upon on Nov. 30, 2015.
As Buzzfeed notes, AMI is the same outfit that tried to squelch the Karen McDougal story (she made $150,000 in 2016) by buying the rights on behalf of the National Enquirer and then sitting on it. The neat little phrase for this is “catch and kill,” and it was successful enough that it kept the stories out of the limelight during the election. But “catch and temporarily suppress” might have been a better term, because the rush of recent leaks proves that these stories are far from dead.
The pay-offs to McDougal and Stormy Daniels have been featured prominently in the news this week, thanks to the FBI raid of Michael Cohen’s offices which aimed to find evidence of the payments. The raid was okayed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, to Trump’s great fury.
The really strange part of the “love child” saga is that Radar Online, which is another subsidiary of AMI, seems to be the one who broke it:
The reason for that odd detail seems is that the AP and New Yorker were on the case, Radar knew it was coming, and decided to be first, and to put the pro-Trump slant on things. Because, I suppose, why not?
They also tried to argue, comically, that the Enquirer sat on the story because of journalist ethics:
“After passing the test, Sajudin demanded he be paid his entire source fee — $30,000 — up front, or he was going to take the story elsewhere,” Radar Online wrote. “Faced with losing the source, or possibly losing its money, The ENQUIRER blinked, and agreed to pay the entire fee.”
“But after four weeks of investigation, and dozens of phone calls, the tabloid — famed for proving John Edwards had fathered a ‘love child’ — concluded the story was NOT true.”
That’s some audacious damage control right there! At this point, now that we know a doorman has been paid, we’re mostly just upset that we failed to get in on this gravy train.