Melania Trump Proceeds With $150 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Daily Mail
Melania Trump has gone forward with a $150 million defamation lawsuit against the Daily Mail and Maryland-based blog Tarpley for publishing articles claiming she worked as an escort in the 1990s. The story originated in a Slovenian magazine that claimed that a New York model agency that represented Trump also provided an escort service to wealthy clients.
It was reported on August 22 that Trump was represented by Charles Harder, the attorney behind tech billionaire Peter Thiel in the Hulk Hogan case that bankrupted Gawker, and had put multiple media outlets on notice of the claims against them. On Thursday, Trump officially filed suit, CNN Money reports:
“These defendants made several statements about Mrs. Trump that are 100% false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation,” Charles Harder, a lawyer for Melania Trump — Donald Trump’s wife — said in a statement. The suit was filed in state court in Montgomery County, Maryland.
After the news originally circulated on August 22 that Trump was considering legal action, media outlets such as Inquisitir and Bipartisan Report printed retractions after picking up the Daily Mail story. Hours after the suit filing was made public Thursday, the Daily Mail issued a retraction:
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,’ that she had a ‘composite or presentation card for the sex business,’ or that either of the modeling agencies referenced in the article were engaged in these businesses, it is hereby retracted, and the Daily Mail newspaper regrets any such misinterpretation.
Despite the retraction, Harder told CNN Money that Trump would proceed with the lawsuit.