National Enquirer denies paying masseuse $1m for Gore 'rape' story

     The executive editor of National Enquirer said that the tabloid didn't pay any money to the masseuse who made a sexual assault allegation against Al Gore. Barry Levine said in an interview Thursday that the woman offered to sell the story for a million dollars but that "no money exchanged hands" and the paper conducted only a brief interview with her. Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider confirmed that the Enquirer did not call Gore's office for comment "for competitive reasons" out of concern that the former vice president would issue a statement and the paper would lose the exclusive in the two days before it reached newsstands. According to The Washington Post, when an Enquirer reporter asked the woman why she had contacted the police now, she responded, ""I was completely shaken and afraid I would lose my job." Sources close to Gore however claim that he remembers no such untoward incident happening. In 2007, Gore's attorney's wrote a letter that said, "You. . . . are aware that everyone who knows Al and Tipper Gore well can and does attest to the integrity of their 37 year marriage and to his honourable character. Moreover, no allegations remotely resembling the ones made by this lawyer have been made against Mr. Gore by anyone else." "We felt, if this was in legitimate police documents, that was a story that should be brought to the surface. We felt this was a significant story involving a very powerful man," said Levine, when asked why he chose to run the story after a two-year delay. Levine said he did not know whether the break-up of the Gore marriage prompted the masseuse to go public but that "you have to give her the benefit of the doubt." He conceded, however, "this could come down to a he said/she said."

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