Melania Trump, wife of the Republican nominee Donald Trump, is suing the British Newpaper, Daily Mail, and an American blogger, Webster Tarpley, for around $150 million over “defamatory” allegations that she used to be a sex worker in the 1990s, prior to her marriage to Trump and rise to fame, BBC News reports.
The Daily Mail had suggested in a feature story that Melania may have worked part-time as an escort in New York City, where she met her husband, billionaire and now the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump. Mrs Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, denied these allegations, calling them “outright lies.” Both the blogger and the Daily Mail have since retracted their articles, and the latter has even posted an official retraction letter.
“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.”
In the retraction letter it is claimed that the Daily Mail never suggested that Melania worked as a sex worker and instead reported that there was no proof to these allegations against her.
“The article, which was also published online by the Mailonline/DailyMail.com website under the headline ‘Naked photoshoots, and troubling questions about visas that won’t go away: The VERY racy past of Donald Trump’s Slovenian wife’ did not intend to state or suggest that these allegations are true, nor did it intend to state or suggest that Mrs. Trump ever worked as an ‘escort’ or in the ‘sex business.’
“To the contrary, The Daily Mail newspaper article stated that there was no support for the allegations, and it provided adamant denials from Mrs. Trump’s spokesperson and from Mr. Zampolli.
“The point of the article was that these allegations could impact the U.S. presidential election even if they are untrue.”
But Melania seems adament on seeking damages, and her lawyer, Mr Harder, pointed out why.
“These defendants made several statements about Mrs Trump that are 100% false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation.”
“Defendants’ actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs Trump that her damages are estimated at $150 million.”
The Daily Mail article had quoted claims from Slovenian magazine Suzy that the modelling agency Melania was signed to in the 1990s also operated as an escort agency. The article also had quotes from a Solvenian journalist, Bojan Pozar, the author of an unauthorized biography, who claims that Melania posed for nude photos in New York in 1995, and that she had met Donald Trump the same year, almost three years before they reported first meeting. Mrs Trump’s lawyers claim that she moved to the United States in 1996.
The other defendant of the lawsuit is Maryland based blogger, Webster Griffin Tarpley, who the lawsuit alleges of publishing “false and defamatory statements” about Melania, including a claim that the 46-year-old was “reportedly obsessed by fear of salacious revelations by wealthy clients from her time as a high-end escort” and as a result had suffered from “a full-blown nervous breakdown”.
Webster Tarpley has released a statement too, claiming 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.”
Melania Trump, 46, was born in Slovenia in 1970, and moved to the US to work as a model in the 1990s. She married Donald Trump in 2005 and currently owns her own jewelry line. Her husband is currently the Republican presidential nominee for the election on November 8.
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