‘Had Carlson done any investigation or responsible reporting or journalism, he would have easily discovered that … is demonstrably false…’
McDougal claims host Tucker Carlson damaged her reputation by falsely accusing her of extortion.
Carlson said in a segment last year that McDougal had “approached Donald Trump and threatened to ruin his career and humiliate his family if he doesn’t give them money,” adding that these were undisputed facts.
McDougal denied the charge and said that the accusation that she had participated in extortion to receive $150,000 from the Trumps was “intentionally false and made with reckless disregard for the truth,” according to Deadline.
In order to win a defamation case, the plaintiff must prove that the person knowingly broadcast a false claim and show that it resulted in actual damages. For public figures like McDougal, an additional requirement is establishing that the accused slanderer acted with negligence.
“Had Carlson done any investigation or responsible reporting or journalism, he would have easily discovered that what he and FOX NEWS published about MCDOUGAL was and is demonstrably false,” the lawsuit said.
The suit, filed in New York state court, does not name Carlson as a defendant, but Fox said in a statement that the network “will vigorously defend Tucker Carlson from these meritless claims.”
An ongoing investigation into Trump’s finances, being spearheaded by New York prosecutors, is premised on the allegation that Trump violated campaign finance laws by providing “hush money” to McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels for their silence about their decade-old extramarital affairs.
Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, plead guilty to charges of campaign finance law violations stemming from these payments.
A bombshell report by Ronan Farrow revealed that McDougal and Trump met after a taping of Trump’s show, The Apprentice, at the Playboy mansion.
Trump was reportedly “all over her,” and one of the show’s producers even remarked “you could be his next wife.”
According to the New Yorker, McDougal kept handwritten notes about the affair, which she said began in 2006, after the taping of “The Apprentice” episode.
Over a period of nine months, Trump ferried her to meet him both in Los Angeles and around the country, taking care not to leave a paper trail.
McDougal originally sold the story to National Enquirer owner David Pecker, a longtime “personal friend” of Trump’s, but he allegedly killed the story as soon as he obtained its exclusive rights.