NEW YORK (REUTERS) - First lady Melania Trump has settled a defamation lawsuit for a "substantial sum" against a Maryland blogger who wrote about unsubstantiated rumours she had worked as an escort and falsely said she suffered a breakdown, Trump's lawyer said on Tuesday (Feb 7).
"I acknowledge that these false statements were very harmful and hurtful to Mrs Trump and her family, and therefore I sincerely apologise to Mrs Trump, her son, her husband and her parents for making these false statements," the blogger, Webster Tarpley, wrote in a statement released by Trump's lawyer.
A lawyer for Tarpley confirmed the accuracy of the statement in an e-mail and said the case had been resolved.
Neither side would divulge the amount of the settlement, though Trump's lawyer Charles Harder called it a "substantial sum".
Trump, who is married to US President Donald Trump, filed the lawsuit last year against both Tarpley and the Daily Mail, a British tabloid, after the newspaper published an article that falsely alleged she had worked for an escort service.
The article cited a Slovenian magazine's report that a modelling agency with which Trump worked in New York in the 1990s also served as an escort business.
The Daily Mail published a retraction and apology after the lawsuit was filed, saying in a statement it had not intended to state or suggest that Trump had worked as an escort.
Last week, a Maryland judge dismissed the claims against the Daily Mail on jurisdictional grounds while allowing the lawsuit to continue against Tarpley. The settlement ends that case.
On Monday, Trump filed a new US$150 million (S$200 million) lawsuit against Mail Media, the Daily Mail's owner, in New York state court, claiming the article had cost her millions of dollars in potential business.
Trump had a "unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to launch numerous product lines, including jewellery, apparel, shoes and cosmetics at a time when she is "one of the most photographed women in the world," according to the new lawsuit.
A spokesman for the Daily Mail did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
Harder, Trump's lawyer, has represented several celebrities and won a US$140 million invasion of privacy verdict for wrestler Hulk Hogan against the now-defunct Gawker last year.
Trump, a native of Slovenia, moved to the United States in the 1990s and in 2005 married Donald Trump, who entered the White House on Jan 20.