CYBERSPACE—In April, Donald Trump’s personal “fixer” Michael Cohen arranged a $1.6 million dollar payoff to two-time Playboy Playmate of the Month Shera Bechard on behalf of top Republican fundraiser Eliot Broidy, 62, who soon resigned his position on the Republican National Committee after admitting that he conducted a two-year affair with Bechard, getting her pregnant and paying for her abortion.
But according to an article by University of Colorado Boulder law professor Paul Campos published on Tuesday by New York Magazine, Brody never, in reality, had the affair with Bechard. In fact, he was taking the fall for the real beneficiary of the $1.6 million cover-up—Donald J. Trump himself.
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“We do not know if this alternative account, or something like it, is true,” Campos writes, clarifying that his hyopthesis is just that, a hypothesis. ”What we do know is that the White House’s version of the story got into print without any apparent journalistic inquiry into whether that account was accurate, or an elaborate ruse.”
Campos notes that the non-disclosure agreement drawn up by Cohen used the same pseudonym given to Trump in his “hush” agreement with Stormy Daniels, David Dennison. In that NDA, Daniels was given the alias “Peggy Peterson,” the same phony name assigned by Cohen to Bechard in the NDA covering the affair that she supposedly had with Broidy.
Bechard Hugh Hefner in 2011, and Hefner was close friends with Trump—but their friendship inexplicably ended in 2016, Campos noted.
Trump was a frequent visitor to Hefner’s Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, where he would often bring women who were contestants on his Apprentice NBC TV reality show, according to . Another Playboy playmate, Karen McDougal, recently settled a lawsuit over her own NDA which had barred her from talking about her own 10-month alleged affair with Trump.
If indeed Campos’s theory that it was Trump, not Broidy, who had an affair with, and impregnated, the 34-year-old Bechard, she would be the third woman known to have received hush money after an affair with Trump, in addition to McDougal and Daniels. All three women, at the time of their hush money deals, were represented by the same attorney, Keith Davidson, who negotiated the deals with Cohen.
On Monday, another former Playboy Playmate, that she watched as Trump had sex with her friend and fellow Playmate Barbara Moore in 1993.
“While having sex with Playboy playmates might be a common enough fantasy among certain older married men, history suggests that the combination of reckless narcissism and personal shamelessness necessary to actually pursue it and then pay the various costs associated with fulfilling it is rarer,” Campos wrote in his New York article. “How many sex scandals involving Playboy playmates and men not named Donald Trump can you recall?”
But why would Broidy, a wealthy financier married a top Hollywood lawyer, put his career, reputation and marriage on the line to protect Trump?
Turns out that Broidy, according to Campos, has a lengthy history of shady financial activity himself, including a 2009 case in which Broidy pleaded guilty to bribery and admitted showering millions on New York State pension officials in exchange for a $250 million investment into Broidy’s own private equity firm by New York’s State retirement fund.
Broidy may have also made millions by “marketing his Trump connections to politicians and governments around the world,” according to report cited by Campos, meaning that keeping Trump shielded from scandal could be worth far more than $1.6 million to Broidy.
Campos also cites the fact that Davidson contacted Cohen about setting up the payoff for Bechard even though Broidy was not Cohen’s client at the time. He also describes the impressive size of the payoff—nearly five times the amounts paid to Daniels and McDougal combined—as “fishy.” Why, he asks, would the then-obscure Broidy need to pay a whopping $1.6 million to cover up an affair that the public-at-large would barely care about?
The payoff was likely not made to shield Broidy’s family from the sordid truth of his extramarital activities, Campos says, because Broidy “admit(ted) to the affair the very first time a journalist asked him about it.”
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