McDougal sued in March, asking the court to void their 2016 contract. She believed the magazine paid $150,000 to keep her quiet under the guise of buying the rights to her story. The magazine asked the court to strike her complaint under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, arguing it had the right to publish her story but was under no obligation to do so.
A representative for National Enquirer parent company American Media Inc. on Wednesday sent The Hollywood Reporter a statement confirming the settlement: “AMI is pleased that we reached an amicable resolution with Karen today that provides both sides what they wanted as a result.”
Under the agreement: McDougal will appear on the September cover of Men’s Journal and be the subject of a feature in that issue; AMI will publish five additional health and fitness columns written by McDougal; AMI retains the right to publish articles about McDougal in its normal course of business; and AMI maintains a 10 percent financial interest in McDougal’s life story rights, if she grants them to a third party, up to $75,000.
The parties also agreed that McDougal could be first to issue a public statement, followed by AMI.
“I am pleased to have reached a settlement with AMI on my own terms, which restores to me the rights to my life story and frees me from this contract that I was misled into signing nearly two years ago,” said McDougal. “My goal from the beginning was to restore my rights and not to achieve any financial gain, and this settlement does exactly that. I am relieved to be able to tell the truth about my story when asked, and I look forward to being able to return to my private life and focus on what matters to me. Thank you to my family, friends, legal team and the public for the support I have received.”
McDougal’s attorney Peter Stris also issued a statement Wednesday: “We are glad that AMI has agreed to a settlement that restores Karen’s life rights to her, and makes right the wrongs that had been perpetrated against her. She is now able to move on from this and go back to living her private life, as she has wanted from the beginning. Our firm is happy to have been able to help Karen reach this favorable outcome and free her from the fear of speaking her truth.”
Read the full terms of the settlement, below.