Karen McDougal

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Merrillville, Indiana
Birth Sign
Merrillville, Indiana

American actress and model Karen McDougal. With the direct-to-video picture “The Arena,” in which she plays Jessemina, a slave girl coerced into fighting as a female gladiator, she made her feature film debut. Additionally, she appeared in cameos in the films Joe Dirt, Charlie’s Angels, Grind, The Girl Next Door, and Raising Helen. She has appeared on series including “Lovespring International,” “Anger Management,” “The O’Reilly Factor,” and the Playmate edition of “Russian Roulette,” as well as guest-hosted TV shows like “Wild On!” and “VIP Access.” Just before the 2016 presidential election, she gained media attention for an alleged affair with Republican nominee Donald Trump. David Pecker, the CEO and Chairman of AMI and a supporter of Donald Trump, bought and buried her story.

Early Childhood & Life

On March 23, 1971, Karen McDougal was born in Merrillville, Indiana, not far from Gary. When she was just nine years old, her mother, Carol, remarried. As a result, the family—which now included her three older brothers and younger sister—moved to Sawyer, Michigan.

She was trained in tap and ballet as a child and dreamed of becoming a ballerina, but she eventually changed her focus to teaching and then modeling. She participated in volleyball, softball, cheerleading, band, color guard, and cheerleading while she was a student at River Valley High School.

In high school, she won the Michigan State Clarinet Championship four years in a row, earning the moniker “Barbie.” She entered Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, after completing her high school education, where she majored in elementary education.

After two years of college, she relocated and started working as a pre-kindergarten teacher in a suburb of Detroit. Before her modeling career took off, she wanted to start a school for kids.

Career in Modeling

In 1997, when she was just starting out as a teacher, Karen McDougal agreed to compete in the Michigan Venus Swimwear swimsuit competition, which she won, earning a spot at the worldwide final in Florida. David Mecey, a well-known photographer, immediately became interested in her and approached her for a test shoot, which she readily agreed to.

She was chosen for a full photo and video shoot after the test shoot, and she was published in Playboy magazine as “Miss December 1997” afterward. Her ‘Playmate Profile’ video shoot, which was released shortly after her magazine debut, was showcased on Playboy TV.

At a luncheon held at the Playboy Mansion, Hugh Hefner and her supporters gave her the title of “Playmate of the Year of 1998,” and she later appeared on the cover of the July 1998 edition of “Playboy.” In addition, she received $100,000 and a unique PMOY 98 Michigan license plate on a special edition silver Shelby Series 1 convertible.
She was interviewed for the succeeding “Playmate of the Year” “Video Centerfold,” which also included a mock Pop-up Video part with trivia about her and “Playboy.” She made an appearance on “The Magic Hour” in July to promote her PMOY issue, and while there, she displayed her characteristic stance, the straddle split, live on television in front of the studio audience.

Despite being a favorite for “Readers’ Choice Sexiest Playmate of the 1990s” because of her attractiveness, “girl next door” allure, and curvy physique, she came in second place to Pamela Anderson in a survey conducted in November 2001. She stated in an online discussion the following year that she would agree to pose for the magazine once more if asked.

In March 1999, McDougal—who herself as a “health nut”—became the first woman to grace the cover of “Men’s Fitness.” She was subsequently featured in various fitness and bodybuilding magazines, including “Muscle & Fitness,” “Physical,” and “Iron Man,” as a result of her foray into fitness modeling.

‘Playboy’ released a limited edition doll in 2002 that was made to look like her, emphasizing how accurately the model captured her statuesque build. In 2003, a second limited-edition bronze figurine called “Warrior Princess,” which was produced in association with fantasy sculptor Bill Toma, was made public.

Career in Acting

Before the 2001 XFL season began, Karen McDougal appeared in a number of television commercials; however, these were quickly pulled from circulation due to their offensive content. In the 2001 direct-to-video picture “The Arena,” she made her feature film debut alongside Lisa Dergan and portrayed a slave girl who became a female gladiator in a Roman colony.

She was one of a total of twelve contestants competing at The Palms in Las Vegas in 2002 for the job of ‘Wild On!’ host Brooke Burke’s replacement. She donned a Cleopatra costume as part of her “wild” challenge and walked through Caesars Palace’s casino with a Julius Caesar actor, but despite being a fan favorite, she lost the place.

She was one of the 28 finalists who went on to the live, Spike TV-televised “2004 WWE Diva Search” special, which was held at the Beacon Theatre in New York. She made it through the first two rounds of elimination but was not one of the top 10 competitors who qualified for online voting.

She discussed her time as “Miss December 1997” in an interview for Hugh Hefner’s “E! True Hollywood Story,” which aired for the first time on April 9, 2006. She made an appearance as a fitness model to show off the exercises in a fitness training DVD with Valerie Waters, a Hollywood celebrity fitness trainer, in the summer of that year.

Individual Life of Karen McDougal

Although Karen McDougal’s mother later made a cameo appearance in an interview part of her ‘Playmate of the Year’ ‘Video Centerfold’ to offer support, her family had initially opposed her decision to pose for ‘Playboy’. She promotes breast cancer awareness because breast cancer runs in her family.

In 2008, she began dating Hollywood actor Bruce Willis. In an interview with the Spanish magazine “Interviu,” which also featured her photograph, she spoke about their connection.

It was revealed that Republican nominee Donald Trump had an affair with Karen McDougal while still married to Melania Trump in November 2016, four days before the US presidential elections. She received $150,000 from American Media, Inc. (AMI), owner of the National Enquirer, which supported Trump, in exchange for exclusive rights to her narrative; however, the story was never published.

Her handwritten memoirs of the affair, which she shared after being motivated by the #MeToo movement, were published in a different piece in February 2018 that supported the allegations. She reportedly initially met Trump in June 2006 at a gathering Hugh Heffner gave at the Playboy Mansion. They reportedly started dating soon after and broke up in April 2007 out of remorse.

Karen McDougal’s Net Worth

friendship with Donald Trump: Karen McDougal discussed her friendship with Donald Trump on CNN in March 2018. In 2006, she first met Donald when The Celebrity Apprentice was being filmed at the Playboy Mansion. The two soon started dating and their relationship lasted for around a year. They allegedly met at least five times a month in hotels all throughout the nation. The National Inquirer, which is owned by a friend of Donald’s, purchased the rights to her tale from McDougal during his presidential campaign. The $300,000 contract said that Karen had to remain silent about the relationship. According to reports, The National Inquirer only covered half of the compensation.


To improve her appearance, Karen McDougal got a breast augmentation operation in 1996. Later, in early 2017, she asserted that she had removed the implants as a result of eyesight loss, blackouts, and terrible headaches that had rendered her bedridden for about a year.