March 25, 2018
A former Playboy model who alleges that she had an affair more than a decade ago with President Donald Trump apologized to Trump's wife, first lady Melania Trump, in an interview Thursday evening. Melania now shares the dubious distinction of being a publicly scorned first lady with one other woman: her husband's 2016 rival for the presidency and sworn enemy, former first lady Hillary Clinton.

Karen McDougal told Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview on CNN on Thursday night that she'd had a sexual relationship with Donald Trump a decade ago, while Trump was married, and that she was "sorry" for what she had done to Trump's wife, Melania. "What can you say except, I'm sorry?" she said, adding, teary-eyed, "I'm sorry. I wouldn't want it done to me."
The White House has denied the affair allegations, which became public in a Wall Street Journal article before the presidential election; it detailed how the parent company of The National Enquirer had paid for McDougal's story and never published it.
McDougal's apology, coupled with other, very public allegations from adult film star Stormy Daniels -- that she, too, had an affair with Trump -- have thrust the Trumps' marriage into the spotlight in a way we have not seen since the 1990s, when Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky dominated the headlines.
To be sure, many first ladies have had to endure their husband's infidelity, although they were carried out well below the radar. But that was before cable news and social media.
The stories of rampant cheating by Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and others are so legendary that in a 1997 letter Monica Lewinsky sent to Bill Clinton pleading with him to see her, she even referred to Roosevelt's longtime mistress Lucy Mercer. "Oh, and Handsome [Lewinsky's nickname for the president], remember FDR would never have turned down a visit with Lucy Mercer!"
Mercer, not Roosevelt's wife Eleanor, was by his side when he died in Warm Springs, Georgia, in 1945. And Jackie Kennedy knew her husband saw other women, but at the time there was a gentlemen's agreement in the press never to reveal it.
Jackie suffered bouts of depression over her husband's philandering and once, when she was giving a reporter friend of hers from Paris Match a tour of the White House, she spotted a woman, whom she suspected was having an affair with her husband, sitting in his trusted secretary Evelyn Lincoln's office. Jackie turned to her friend and said, in French, "This is the girl who supposedly is sleeping with my husband."
But it was not until Hillary Clinton that a first lady would be forced to directly confront such embarrassing and hurtful public allegations of her husband's betrayal. This national -- global, really -- exposure went well beyond the the years of training Clinton possessed as first lady of Arkansas when her husband was governor.
But it is all new for Melania, who does not like the spotlight.
Bill Clinton's proclivities were no secret and were well-known in his inner circle and probably by his wife long before he won the presidency. During the 1992 presidential campaign, Hillary's close friend and adviser Susan Thomases issued a similar warning to the one a friend of JFK's delivered to him 36 years earlier. Thomases said: "You're stupid enough to blow this whole Presidential thing over your d--k. And if that turns out to be true, buddy, I'm going home, and I'm taking people with me."
But Clinton's past came back to haunt him in the White House. As I detailed in a 2016 book I wrote about first ladies, one overnight White House guest of the Clintons remembered hearing the phone ring in the hallway of the second floor residence around midnight. The president picked it up, and after a moment, slumped over and yelled, "Oh s--t," and slammed the phone down. Clinton straightened himself up and continued entertaining his guests well into the early morning hours, as though nothing had happened.
The next morning the house guests -- there were always house guests during the Clinton years -- got up and went to the sunny Solarium, with its floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Washington Monument and the Mall, to have a quiet breakfast. The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal were laid out on a table and right away they could see what had upset the president: Paula Jones had just filed a formal lawsuit accusing the president of making an unwanted sexual advance toward her when he was Arkansas governor and she worked in his office.
Unlike Jackie, Hillary Clinton had no choice but to address her husband's philandering in a very public way. Like Pat Nixon during Watergate, Hillary Clinton stopped reading the newspapers at the height of the barrage and blamed others, in this case Republicans, for trying to bring down her husband.
"She worked out a resolution that worked for her," Thomases said. "It was important for her to keep their marriage together." Shirley Sagawa, who at different times served as Hillary Clinton's domestic policy adviser and deputy chief of staff when she was first lady, said that Monica Lewinsky was a "terrible distraction" and that members of Hillary's inner circle were all "very angry at the time....It was a very complicated time and she handled it all with such grace."
Inside the walls of the residence, there was deep pain. Hillary had been through this before, even carefully choreographing camera angles during her first "60 Minutes" interview in 1992, when she sat beside her husband, who was asked difficult questions about an alleged 12-year affair he had with Gennifer Flowers.
The biggest headline of the interview was not anything he said, however; it was when she broke from the script and said, "I'm not sitting here, some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette." She had known about his cheating and she wasn't about to let it stand in the way of their chance to win the presidency.
But like the Roosevelts before them, the political partnership and deep mutual affection kept the Clintons together. The same was true for the Kennedys. A week after their 10th wedding anniversary, Jackie wrote a letter to their friend Charley Bartlett, who had fixed them up. She told him she knew Jack would have been happy without being married but, without Jack, her life would have "all been a wasteland, and I would have known it every step of the way."
It remains to be seen if the bond between the Trumps is as strong.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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