Melania Trump claims that being branded a former escort by a publication has affected not only her reputation and business ventures, but also her ability to conduct her duties as the country’s First Lady. An August article by the Daily Mail alleged that Melania wasn’t completely truthful about her past.
The headline read, “Naked photoshoots, and troubling questions about visas that won’t go away: The VERY racy past of Donald Trump’s Slovenian Wife.” The story alleges Melania did not start her career in the 1990s as a model, but as an escort. The First Lady’s camp dismissed the claims as inaccurate and defamatory.
In her Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit, Melania slammed the statements, including the one alleging that her first meeting with Donald Trump was “staged.” The court papers further detailed how the story affected the 46-year-old.
The mother-of-one “has lost significant value, and major business opportunities that were otherwise available to her have been lost and/or substantially impacted.” Most importantly, the demeaning statements “impugned her fitness to perform her duties as First Lady of the United States.”
As per the papers, Melania’s own brand – which carries jewelry and skin care products – has suffered an economic damage amounting to “multiple millions of dollars.”
“She had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person, as well as a former professional model and brand spokesperson, and successful businesswoman, to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which Plaintiff is one of the most photographed woman in the world.”
The Daily Mail published a retraction after Melania filed a lawsuit in Maryland against the website and its Maryland-based political writer Webster Griffin Tarpley. The judge then rejected the claims because they reportedly could not be pursued in the state since the publication’s corporate offices were in New York. Her lawsuit against the writer, however, will continue.
Melania has re-filed the lawsuit with Charles Harder leading her legal team. He’s the same lawyer who represented Hulk Hogan in his defamation suit against the now closed website Gawker.
Despite the accusations against Melania, people from her hometown continue to celebrate her rise to the White House. It has been reported that Slovenia is experiencing a tourism boom because of tourists who are curious about the First Lady’s homeland.
The country’s official website even features the tagline, “The homeland of the new First Lady of the United States of America!” Several groups are now offering guided tours which promise to take tourists to Melania’s childhood homes in the small town of Sevnica as well as her previous schools and workplaces.
ABC previously reported that a local restaurant incorporated a “Melania” dessert into its menu. The town has likewise dedicated an anthem for its most popular former resident.
Melania, born as Melanija Knavs, left Slovenia in 1996 to pursue a modelling career in New York. She became a citizen a decade after. Melania last went home in 2002 to introduce her then-boyfriend Donald to her parents. The two met in 1998 at a New York Fashion Week Party and tied the knot in 2005.
Even if she hasn’t been to the country in a long time, the residents still believe that her new title will make the country more recognizable.
“The people in Sevnica say Melania Trump has not been keeping much contact with the town after she moved to the U.S., but they nevertheless believe that her new title will increase Slovenia’s recognition in the world.”
In a bid to prevent her name from being maligned, Melania opted to enlist the help of a law firm in the country. Following Donald’s win, a wide array of Melania-inspired products have emerged in the country such as shoes, pastries, honey jars, and even undergarments.
[Featured Image by Aaron Bernstein/Getty Images]