Melania Trump sues news outlets for claiming she was an escort
Melania Trump, the wife of US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, has sued British newspaper Daily Mail and a US-based blog for USD 150 million in damages over stories that had alleged she worked as an escort in the 1990s. Both media outlets have retracted the story and issued an apology.
"These defendants made several statements about Mrs Trump that are 100 per cent false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation," her lawyer Charles Harder said in a statement.
"Defendants broadcast their lies to millions of people throughout the US and the world without any justification. Their many lies include, among others, that Mrs Trump supposedly was an 'escort' in the 1990s before she met her husband. The defendants' actions were so "egregious, malicious and harmful" Melania, that her damages are estimated at USD150 million, Harder said.
Melania had served a legal notice to the two publications last week. The lawsuit was filed in a Maryland court on yesterday. Soon after, the Daily Mail retracted the story.
"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," the newspaper said in a statement.
Maryland-based blog Tarpley.net also issued a statement apologising to Melania for publishing the story.
Two other publications have also apologised to the former model for repeating the claims.
In an interview to CNN, Harder said that Melania would proceed with the lawsuit despite the Daily Mail's retraction.