Melania Trump sues Daily Mail, blogger over ‘defamatory’ stories

Mrs  Melania Trump listening as her husband delivers remarks at Trump National Golf Club Westchester on June 6. The Daily Mail has retracted a story that is the subject of a libel lawsuit filed by Mrs Trump.
Mrs Melania Trump listening as her husband delivers remarks at Trump National Golf Club Westchester on June 6. The Daily Mail has retracted a story that is the subject of a libel lawsuit filed by Mrs Trump. PHOTO: AFP

 WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – Mrs Melania Trump, the wife of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, sued the Maryland-based publisher of The Daily Mail Online and a blogger on Thursday (Sept 1) over stories about her past which she believes were “tremendously damaging,” her attorney said in a statement.

A Daily Mail story last month cited a Slovenian magazine’s report that a modeling agency that Mrs Trump worked with in New York in the 1990s also served as an escort business, linking wealthy clients with women for sexual services.

Late Thursday, the Daily Mail retracted the story in a posting 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.

Mrs Trump had notified the British newspaper and other news organisations on Aug 22 that she would take legal action, her 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% false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation,” he said in a statement on Thursday. The lawsuit was filed in state circuit court in Montgomery County, Maryland.

The lawsuit alleges that the Maryland blogger, Webster Griffin Tarpley, published “false and defamatory statements”about Mrs Trump, including that the former model had suffered from “a full-blown nervous breakdown.” Tarpley could not immediately be reached for comment.

“Defendants’ actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs Trump that her damages are estimated at US$150 million dollars,” her lawyer’s statement said.

Mrs Trump, who now has her own jewellery line, was born in Slovenia and moved to the United States in the 1990s. She married Mr Donald Trump in 2005.