Melania Trump; Daily Mail Reach Agreement in “Escort” Lawsuit

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Melania Trump's White House Portrait - Image via Fortune

On Wednesday, First Lady Melania Trump reached an agreement in her lawsuit against Britain’s Daily Mail to pay her an undisclosed amount. Melania sued the Daily Mail for publishing an article about her professional work as a model. In the article – which was published during the US presidential election, the Daily Mail accused Melania of working as an “escort” during her modeling career.

The article, which is titled “Racy photos and troubling questions about his wife’s past that could derail Trump,” also featured an old nude photograph of Mrs. Trump from her modeling career. Her lawyer said in a statement that “Readers of the newspaper that day could not fail to miss the article.”

According to Business Insider, Melania had filed a $150 million lawsuit against the Daily Mail’s owner in New York. Melania claims the article cost her millions of dollars in potential business. However, according to the BBC, reports suggest Mrs. Trump’s payout was closer to $3 million, including legal costs and damages.

The Daily Mail is definitely guilty of making defamatory statements but since those stamens were printed in a publication it now becomes a case of libel. Since libel and slander both fall under a variation of defamation they are treated relatively the same under the law. In all cases you must prove a statement, whether a verbal or printed statement, is untrue and has caused some sort of harm.

On Wednesday, the Daily Mail issued an apology to the First Lady as well a promise to issue a retraction of the article.

“We accept that these allegations about Mrs. Trump are not true,” the publication said.

Here is the full statement from the Daily Mail:

The Mail Online website and the Daily Mail newspaper published an article on August 20th, 2016 about Melania Trump which questioned the nature of her work as a professional model, and republished allegations that she provided services beyond simply modelling. The article included statements that Mrs. Trump denied the allegations and Paulo Zampolli, who ran the modelling agency, also denied the allegations, and the article also stated that there was no evidence to support the allegations. The article also claimed that Mr. and Mrs. Trump may have met three years before they actually met, and “staged” their actual meeting as a “ruse.”

“We accept that these allegations about Mrs. Trump are not true and we retract and withdraw them. 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.”

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