Karen McDougal, a former Playmate of the Year, sat down with CNN’s Anderson Cooper for an exclusive interview which aired Thursday evening (March 22). Many are familiar with Karen as one of three women who has been at the forefront of the POTUS’ recent scandals and lawsuits. It should be noted that her allegations have been dismissed by the White House as fiction and they've denied the Affair.

According to Karen McDougal, she and Trump had a 10-month long affair starting in 2006. This was shortly after his and Melania’s son was born. It was also during the time he had another alleged affair with the adult film actress known as Stormy Daniels.

That affair was said to have lasted nine months.

Although she did not go into great detail, McDougal laid out some hefty specifics which made her story seem very credible. Many were expecting tawdry and salacious details of Trump and the Bunny’s encounters but were disappointed. Perhaps viewers will have to wait until the Stormy Daniels’ interview with Anderson Cooper that airs on Sunday (March 25).

Karen did, however, explain how she met Trump in 2006 at one of the Celebrity Apprentice events held at the legendary mansion. She added that throughout the evening friends hinted that Trump appeared to be smitten by her. As the night unfolded, conservation ensued, he got her phone number and the rest is “her-story.”

The devil is in the details

It should be noted that Karen McDougal had previously been held to a sort of NDA, non-disclosure agreement, which was presented in the form of a catch-and-kill story-- a story which she sold for $150,000 to AMI.

This is the same company that owns the National Enquirer which is also owned by one of Trump’s friend--a fact unknown to Karen at the time.

Catch-and-kill stories are not uncommon in the media world and there are probably hundreds waiting to be born. Media outlets use this silencing-tactic to buy the rights to a story of a celebrity or well-known public figure.

Other sale perks can be added to the agreement to sweeten the deal and make it more attractive to the person selling the story. Karen’s reason for selling the story was a means to keep her relationship out of public view and a way to protect both of their reputations.

In the AMI-McDougal agreement, Karen was promised a monthly health and fitness column in one of their magazines along with a couple of other amenities.

She would receive all of this if she did not share the details about her life and affair with Donald Trump. To date, aside from the money, she has not received any of those perks.

Essentially, Karen sold her life rights to publish or talk about the alleged affair with the now POTUS, and even with parameters in place to discuss the escapade, she could still face backlash for breach of contract. To assist her in litigation she has hired legal representation.

Since her silence has broken, AMI issued a statement Tuesday (March 20) stating Ms. McDougal has been free to discuss her story since 2011—implying they may still retain publication rights.

Wake up call to women

There is a bigger issue at play.

Regardless of how one interprets McDougal’s situation, Karen clearly illuminated a tender spot for many women who find themselves in crisis. She showed how some of us women slip and fall, and get our priorities mixed up. Afterall, as humans, we are all fallible.

Karen admitted that during the time of the alleged affair, she did all she could to keep her mother from finding out because she would've disapproved. She also didn't want the world knowing the truth as a scandal would've surely been the result.

She confessed to Anderson that she knew it was wrong but she did it anyway because she was young and initially didn’t care. But ten months later, the guilt became too much and she ended the relationship.

Cruelty sometimes springs from an internal void, cradled in an allure of excitement. In one TV segment, Karen proved that the lessons of our youth can be tossed aside like a Raggedy Ann doll when sparkly things are presented. Plenty of us have been privy to self-destructive behavior or overindulgence, and if not, give it time. However, and let’s be clear, one’s impulsive decisions motivated by a thirst to fill a void can lead to the destruction of self, home, and the woven fabric of the family. One must be self-aware and voids must be explored and filled. If not filled, balance without regret cannot take root. For Karen, it appears she has traveled the road of introspect, explaining that she did love Trump--and he loved her.

Under the microscope of scrutiny and the weight of a scarlet letter, she says she lives her life quite differently now.

Time for school

If we do not teach our young women and encourage each other to stand up for ourselves by saying no, and running in the other direction when a predatory married man approaches-- and approach he will--then we will have failed to guide them along the path that we know can be rocky.

How we behave and interact with others demonstrates our values, morals and what we hold true. This is an issue of character and dignity.

Unfortunately, our friend Karen traded a few of these for pseudo-love. She knowingly got into a relationship with a married man, not to mention, while in said relationship, she toured the woman’s house, took pictures with her and the family, snuck around, lied, and the list goes on.

Strength and moral aptitude must emerge and sides must be chosen. For women, they must choose the path of no versus the hope of some fantasy being fulfilled. The cost is too great. We must remain strong and draw our own lines.

Sympathy for Karen?

Not really--not from the perch of pity. Should we sit in judgment of her? Absolutely not. Should America have compassion for Karen? Definitely. We all make mistakes and fall short and it is not our place to judge. We make life choices based on our values and belief systems at the time. Her choices were poor and had a devastating effect, on this we can agree.

However, this isn’t so much about Karen as it is about the impact it has had on the Trumps’ marriage and the relationship between America and her leader.

Although incidents of infidelity occur, and the Bunny affair happened when the POTUS was citizen Trump, it still begs a question. How does a nation trust a president who repeatedly tells mistruths, cheats, and owns a moral compass that is missing the magnetic hand, and it is all but broken?