Melania Trump files $150m lawsuit against UK Daily Mail and blogger over reports that she was an 'escort' in the 90s
Melania Trump, former model and the wife of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, sued the US-based publisher of the Daily Mail Online and a blogger over stories making false and defamatory statements about her supposedly being an escort in the 1990s.
The Daily Mail story last month cited a Slovenian magazine’s report that a modeling agency that Trump worked with in New York in the 1990s also served as an escort business, linking wealthy clients with women for sexual services.
On Thursday September 1st, The Daily Mail retracted the story in a post on its website:
"To the extent that anything in the Daily Mail’s article was interpreted as stating or suggesting that Mrs. Trump worked as an ‘escort’ or in the ‘sex business’… is hereby retracted, and the Daily Mail newspaper regrets any such misinterpretation"
Trump had notified the British newspaper and other news organizations on August 22 that she would take legal action, Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, said in an email at the time, calling the reports "outright lying."
"These defendants made several statements about Mrs. Trump that are 100 percent false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation," he said in a statement on Thursday.
The lawsuit filed in state circuit court in Montgomery County, Maryland, alleges that the Maryland blogger, Webster Griffin Tarpley, published "false and defamatory statements" about Trump, including that the former model had suffered from “a full-blown nervous breakdown."
"Defendants’ actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs. Trump that her damages are estimated at 150 million dollars," her lawyer’s statement said
Tarpley said in a statement that the lawsuit is without merit.
"We are confident that Mrs. Trump will not be able to meet her high burden of proving the statements published about her on my website were defamatory in any way," he said.