Daily Mail gets Trumped: Melania settles libel suit for $2.9 million

The London-based tabloid and website admitted that the first lady was not once an escort

Published April 12, 2017 3:10PM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Since the election Donald Trump and friends have been accused of a lot of things, but this might have been a new one.

In August of 2016 the Daily Mail, a London based tabloid newspaper, published an article alleging that the modeling agency Melania Trump worked for in the late 1990's was also an escort service. The article also suggested that the first lady had "provided services beyond simply modeling."

The newspaper claimed to have gotten the information from "a book available on Amazon," as well as a Slovenian magazine.

On Wednesday, the Daily Mail apologized to the first lady, saying the article was false, and agreed to pay her damages. The first lady will be paid of $2.9 million — though according to her original filing, Melania was seeking at least $150 million because she saw the White House as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to profit."

"We accept that these allegations about Mrs. Trump are not true and we retract and withdraw them," a Daily Mail lawyer told Judge Andrew Nicol, at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. "We apologize to Mrs. Trump for any distress that our publication caused her. To settle Mrs. Trump’s two lawsuits against us, we have agreed to pay her damages and costs."

Despite the fact that the Daily Mail had issued a retraction 10 days after the article was published, Melania filed two separate libel lawsuits against the company. The first suit, filed in Maryland as well as in London, was dismissed because the court did not have jurisdiction. The second was filed in New York City.

The second of the two filings stated that the Daily Mail article had hurt her ability "to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories." It added that "the plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world," as well as that "the plaintiff’s brand has lost significant value." However, the lawsuit did not make any mention of the White House or President Donald Trump.


By Katie Serena

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