EXCLUSIVE: ex-Trump World Tower doorman's "catch-and-kill" contract released

A former Trump World Tower doorman who says he has knowledge of an alleged affair President Donald Trump had...

Posted: Aug 26, 2018 11:17 AM
Updated: Aug 26, 2018 11:17 AM

A former Trump World Tower doorman who says he has knowledge of an alleged affair President Donald Trump had with an ex-housekeeper, which resulted in a child, is now able to talk about a contract he entered with American Media Inc. that had prohibited him from discussing the matter with anyone, according to his attorney.

On Friday, Marc Held -- the attorney for Dino Sajudin, the former doorman -- said his client had been released from his contract with AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer, "recently" after back-and-forth discussions with AMI.

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CNN has exclusively obtained a copy of the signed "source agreement" between Sajudin and AMI, which is owned by David Pecker.

The contract appears to have been signed on Nov. 15, 2015, and states that AMI has exclusive rights to Sajudin's story but does not mention the details of the story itself beyond saying, "Source shall provide AMI with information regarding Donald Trump's illegitimate child..."

The contract states that "AMI will not owe Source any compensation if AMI does not publish the Exclusive..." and the top of the agreement shows that Sajudin could receive a sum of $30,000 "payable upon publication as set forth below."

But the third page of the agreement shows that about a month later, the parties signed an amendment that states that Sajudin would be paid $30,000 within five days of receiving the amendment. It says the "exclusivity period" laid out in the agreement "is extended in perpetuity and shall not expire."

The amendment also establishes a $1 million payment that Sajudin would be responsible for making to AMI "in the event Source breaches this provision."

"Mr. Sajudin has been unable to discuss the circumstances regarding his deal with American Media Inc. and the story that he sold to them, due to a significant financial penalty," Held told CNN. "Just recently, AMI released Mr. Sajudin from the terms of his agreement and he is now able to speak about his personal experience with them, as well as his story, which is now known to be one of the 'catch and kill' pieces. Mr. Sajudin hopes the truth will come out in the very near future."

The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow broke the story in April of how the contract came into existence. Farrow reported that the New Yorker obtained an "unexecuted copy" of the contract. CNN has obtained a copy that was signed by Sajudin.

In April, Sajudin told CNN he claims to have knowledge of a relationship Trump had with his former housekeeper that resulted in a child.

At the time, AMI called Sajudin's story "not credible" and denied any connection between the story and Trump and his then-personal attorney Michael Cohen.

The White House did not respond to CNN's requests for comments in April.

CNN has contacted AMI to clarify whether Sajudin has now been released from the contract to be able to speak on terms of the agreement and to seek reaction on this latest development, but has yet to receive a response.

Sajudin's allegation that Trump fathered a child out of wedlock has not been independently confirmed by any of the outlets that have investigated the story.

Held said he cannot give the exact date the agreement was terminated, per another agreement the attorney made with AMI in order to get his client out of the contract.

Held said that now that Sajudin has been released from the agreement with AMI, he would no longer be liable for a payment for speaking out.

"He's a blue-collar worker and a million dollars would have ruined him for life," Held told CNN.

What the doorman claims to know

When the story surfaced in April, Sajudin told CNN about the alleged relationship in a statement:

"Today I awoke to learn that a confidential agreement that I had with AMI (The National Enquirer) with regard to a story about President Trump was leaked to the press. I can confirm that while working at Trump World Tower I was instructed not to criticize President Trump's former housekeeper due to a prior relationship she had with President Trump, which produced a child."

The Associated Press reported in April that Cohen "acknowledged to the AP that he had discussed Sajudin's story with the magazine when the tabloid was working on it. He said he was acting as a Trump spokesman when he did so and denied knowing anything beforehand about the Enquirer payment to the ex-doorman."

Cohen pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of tax fraud, false statements to a bank and campaign finance violations tied to his work for Trump.

In that deal, he pleaded guilty to paying $130,000 to former adult film star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, to conceal her story of an alleged affair with Trump. He also pleaded guilty to working with AMI to pay off former Playboy model Karen McDougal in a similar "catch and kill" agreement in order to keep her allegations of an affair with Trump from being published. Trump has denied an affair with both women.

Pecker has received immunity in the Cohen case for providing details of the payments to prosecutors, a source confirmed to CNN on Friday.

Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect The New Yorker's previous reporting.

Correction: This story has been updated to correctly identify David Pecker's role at American Media Inc.

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