The saga seems in keeping with previous reports of "catch and kill" scenarios involving the Trump campaign, most notably the claim from former Playboy model Karen McDougal that the National Enquirer's parent company paid her United States $150,000 to shut up about her alleged affair with Trump.
The woman at the center of the story "emphatically" denied to the wire service that she had an affair with Trump.
"Pecker's not going to take thirty thousand dollars from company funds to shut down a potentially damaging story about his buddy without making sure it got back to him so he could get credit."In addition, AMI and Mr. Pecker emphatically deny any suggestion that there might have been be any "partnership" created which might influence any business ties in regard to AMI.
"The source that this is coming from is unstable on every level", Benfatto said of her former husband of 14 years. "These claims are reckless, unsubstantiated, and false".
The payment came eight months before the tabloid paid $150,000 to former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, and it raises new questions about how the National Enquirer and attorney Michael Cohen fought to protect Trump's reputation during the 2016 presidential campaign. McDougal's story was also not published.
Farrow added that with the "doorman" payoff reporting following in the heels of the McDougal and Daniels payoffs, "this establishes a pattern now".
The New Yorker couldn't independently determine whether the rumor about Trump's secret child was true, though they did obtain portions of the contract Sajudin signed when he entered into his contract with AMI.
"When we realized we would be unable to publish, and other media outlets approached the source about his tale, 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 told RadarOnline.com, a sister publication of the Enquirer.
When the journal started probing into the payments made by the Enquirer to tipsters during the 2016 election, the company only released Sajudin from his contract.
The Radar story also quoted Enquirer editor and AMI executive Dylan Howard, who, according to Farrow, met with journalists and an attorney from the Associated Press last summer as the AP was investigating the matter.
"AMI doesn't go around cutting checks for $30,000 and then not using the information", said Jerry George, a reporter and senior editor for almost three decades at AMI before his layoff in 2013. It has been reported that American Media Inc.
"Paying for information has always been a practice of The National Enquirer and to suggest that it has only paid for, and not run, stories about any particular person is absurd".
AMI has asked the court to dismiss McDougal's complaint, arguing that the deal is protected under the First Amendment. Neither AMI reporters nor the New Yorker were able to verify that Trump did indeed have a child through an extramarital relationship. Neither named the woman or the child. Daniels, who claims to have had a sexual relationship with Trump in 2006, was forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring her from speaking out about the alleged affair, although she and her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, have since claimed the NDA is moot because Trump himself did not sign the document. Federal authorities are apparently investigating that payment, having executed search warrants this week for evidence about that payment.
She has not returned Inside Edition's calls for comment.