WASHINGTON — Melania Trump, the wife of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on Thursday sued two media outlets, including the Daily Mail tabloid, that alleged she was an escort in the 1990s.
The suit — filed in state circuit court for Montgomery County, Maryland and acquired by AFP — is against Mail Media, Inc. which publishes the Daily Mail Online, and Webster G. Tarpley, who publishes a blog.
Melania Trump, an ex-model of Slovenian origin, was seeking damages to the tune of $150 million.
“These defendants made several statements about Mrs. Trump that are 100 percent false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation,” said her attorney Charles Harder.
“Defendants broadcast their lies to millions of people throughout the US and the world.”
“Defendants’ actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs. Trump that her damages are estimated at $150 million dollars,” he said.
The blog and the Daily Mail later retracted their reports.
The Mail said: 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 US presidential election even if they are untrue,” the statement went on, adding that the report was “hereby retracted, and the Daily Mail newspaper regrets any such misinterpretation.”
Melania Trump is 24 years younger than her billionaire husband. She is Donald Trump’s third wife and the mother of their young son Barron.
Harder specializes in cases that involve privacy protection and defamation.
He represented former wrestler Hulk Hogan in his successful lawsuit against Gawker Media, which resulted in a $140 million jury award against the entertainment website for releasing a sex tape featuring Hogan and a friend’s wife.
The decision caused Gawker to shutter its flagship website, after the court order drove the company to bankruptcy.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.