Trump's wife sues media over escort claim

Mrs Trump with her husband at the Republican National Convention in July. She is suing Mail Media, publisher of Daily Mail Online, and Mr Webster Tarpley, who publishes a blog.
Mrs Trump with her husband at the Republican National Convention in July. She is suing Mail Media, publisher of Daily Mail Online, and Mr Webster Tarpley, who publishes a blog.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • Mrs Melania Trump, the wife of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, is suing two media outlets that alleged she worked as an escort in the 1990s.

Filed in a Maryland court, the suit is against Mail Media, which publishes the Daily Mail Online, and Mr Webster Tarpley, who publishes a blog. A Slovenian ex-model, Mrs Trump is seeking damages to the tune of US$150 million (S$204 million).

"These defendants made several statements about Mrs Trump that are 100 per cent false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation," her lawyer Charles Harder said. The lawsuit was filed on Thursday.

Later that day, 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.

 

"The point of the article was that these allegations could impact the US presidential election even if they are untrue," the retraction said of the Aug 20 article.

Mr 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.

Mrs Trump's modelling career brought her to the United States in 1996, where two years later she met the real estate mogul she would eventually marry.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2016, with the headline 'Trump's wife sues media over escort claim'. Print Edition | Subscribe