Ex Playboy model Karen McDougal shares intimate details about her ten-month ... trends now
Clad in a dressing gown, and not much else, in the suite of a luxury hotel in West Hollywood, it's clear to see how Karen McDougal might attract the attention of a rich, powerful, older man. A man like former US president, Donald Trump, for instance.
Karen is an ex-Playboy model who claims she had a ten-month affair with him back in 2006. She's one of two women - the other being Stormy Daniels - who allegedly had a relationship with the married multi-millionaire prior to his successful 2016 election campaign.
It's these women's allegations that lie at the heart of the Manhattan District Attorney's office investigation into the now 76-year-old Trump, making him the first former president in US history to face criminal charges - 34 of them, to be precise - all of which he denies.
But while Stormy Daniels is the accuser everyone has heard about - a former adult film star whose silence was brokered and bought for $130,000 by Trump's 'fixer', his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who was jailed for perjury - few have heard of Karen McDougal.
Karen McDougal, an ex-Playboy model who claims she had a ten-month affair with former president Donald Trump back in 2006, gave an exclusive interview to Daily Mail
'I was in love with him. He was in love with me. I know that because he told me all the time,' she said of her relationship with Trump
Her story was similarly bought for nearly $150,000 and buried, by an American tabloid, a strategy known as a 'catch and kill', in the run up to the election.
But unlike Stormy Daniels - who has left her contempt for Trump in no doubt, describing their alleged sexual encounter as 'the worst 90-seconds of my life' - Karen insists, in her exclusive interview with Daily Mail, that their relationship was real and loving.
'He followed me around like a puppy dog, trying to get my attention,' she says of Trump
It's certainly easy to see how Trump might have fallen for her.
Now aged 52, with cascades of brunette hair and the figure of a woman half her age, she's also smart and feisty - a 'bunny' with a brain - and a sharp wit, too.
I ask how she feels about the former president denying that their ten-month affair happened: Trump has rubbished affairs with both Karen and Stormy Daniels, and claims the criminal charges are part of a 'political witch hunt' to try to stop him from running for office again.
'His people have denied it, but he's never denied it,' she corrects me. 'A reporter asked him: 'Did you have an affair with Karen McDougal?' and all he said was: 'I've done nothing wrong.' He knows I'm telling the truth.'
She has a point. For while Trump has mocked Stormy Daniels, calling her 'horse face' and 'a total con job' and has bad-mouthed E Jean Carroll, the advice columnist who was awarded $5million in damages last week after a jury found him liable for sexually abusing and defaming her, as a 'whack job', he has never said anything derogatory about Karen.
While we're on the subject, there are a few other assumptions Karen would like cleared up about her association with Trump.
Firstly, theirs was not a casual affair; they were in love, she insists.
'I was in love with him. He was in love with me. I know that because he told me all the time. He'd say 'You're my baby and I love you'. He showed me off to his friends.'
And secondly, she insists, she dumped him. 'I'm portrayed as the disgruntled woman, but I am not that woman. I ended it,' she says.
She had been thinking of ways to get out of the relationship, she says: 'A family member came to town and we went to a bar and I met a lovely man named Bruce.'
The Bruce she is referring to is the Die-Hard actor Bruce Willis with whom she was pictured, hand-in-hand, in Italy on holiday a few months later in 2007, and whom she dated for six months.
McDougal claims she began seeing Trump in June 2006 and says she ended it in April 2007 and then moved on with actor Bruce Willis. She was photographed with Willis in Italy on vacation in August 2007
'I wasn't cheating on Trump but Bruce and I were talking on the phone a lot already so that made it easier to end it,' she aid. She is pictured on an Italian vacation with Willis
'I wasn't cheating on Trump but Bruce and I were talking on the phone a lot already so that made it easier to end it. Why would I stay with a married man when Bruce was a nice guy, and single?' she reasons.
Quite how her life path came to cross that of the one-time most powerful man in the world sounds like an 'American Dream' type story.
One of five children brought up in a working-class family in Michigan, Karen was teaching four-year-olds at a pre-school when, after having her breasts surgically enhanced from 34B to 34D, she entered a swimsuit competition.
The competition took her all the way to Playboy magazine where she was named a Playmate of the Month for December 1997, Playmate of the Year in 1998 and in 2001 the magazine's readers voted her runner-up for Playmate of the 90s, behind former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson. (She had her implants removed in 2016 over health concerns.)
In 2006, Trump, who was then the star of the reality TV show, Celebrity Apprentice, attended a pool party at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles, hosted by Hugh Hefner for the show's contestants.
He'd been married to wife Melania less than two years at the time, and she'd just given birth to their son Barron.
Nevertheless, Karen, who was wearing a see-through dress over her swimsuit, says she caught Trump's eye.
'He followed me around like a puppy dog, trying to get my attention,' she says. 'He took to me so much that the Bunny Mother (the woman charged with looking after the women working as Playboy bunnies) said: 'Wow, he really has a thing for you'.'
'I was saying goodbye and he was standing next to his body guard Keith Schiller (who later got a top job at the White House, before being sacked) and he said, 'Keith, get her number,'.'
'He called a few days later and asked me to have dinner with him at the Beverly Hills Hotel,' she says.
'I'm ashamed about it now because I knew he was married but at the time it was out of sight, out of mind. I was a different girl then, having fun and not thinking about things too deeply.'
For the date, she dressed in a Roberto Cavalli long-sleeved blouse and jeans. Keith was dispatched to pick her up but, to her surprise, she was driven to the back entrance of the famous hotel. For reasons that are obvious to her now, she had to be kept under wraps.
McDougal appears in photo with Melania, Donald and Ivanka Trump. Their affair began when Trump had been married to wife Melania less than two years and she'd just given birth to their son Barron
McDougal, pictured above in 2006 at the time she was allegedly sleeping with Trump, said she cried after their first date when he offered her money
Instead of dinner in the restaurant, they had steak and mashed potatoes delivered by room service in the bungalow where Trump was staying. 'We ate at a little table in the kitchen area with the TV on in