MELANIA TRUMP $150 MILLION LIBEL LAWSUIT TO DAILY MAIL AND TARPLEY FOR RUNNING A STORY INSINUATING SHE WORKED AS AN ESCORT BEFORE SHE MET DONALD TRUMP; LAWYER IS CHARLES HARDER WHO REPRESENTED HULK HOGAN’S SUIT AGAINST GAWKER, NOW BANKRUPT AFTER $140 MILLION REWARD TO EX-WRESTLER
On Thursday, Melania Trump serve a $150 million lawsuit to Daily Mail and Tarpley, a U.S.-based blog, after both outlets ran a story insinuating Melania worked as an escort in the 1990s before she met Donald Trump. Charles Harder, her lawyer, said in statement:
“These defendants made several statements about Mrs. Trump that are 100% false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation,”
“Defendants broadcast their lies to millions of people throughout the U.S. and the world—without any justification,” Harder continued. “Their many lies include, among others, that Mrs. Trump supposedly was an ‘escort’ in the 1990s before she met her husband. Defendants’ actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs. Trump that her damages are estimated at $150 million.”
Melania Trump had last week placed The Daily Mail, Tarpley and other news organizations on notice for what she and her attorney said were false and defamatory statements in reports claiming a New York modeling agency that once represented Melania “also operated as an escort agency for wealthy clients.”
Less than two hours after issuing the statement on Thursday, The Daily Mail retracted its story.
“The article… 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,'” The Daily Mail wrote in its statement. “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 [Paolo] Zampolli,” the man who ran the modeling agency.
“The point of the article was that these allegations could impact the U.S. presidential election even if they are untrue,” the statement continued. “Mrs. Trump’s counsel in the U.S. and the U.K., have stated unequivocally that the allegations about the modeling agencies are false.”
“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 statement read.
On Thursday evening, Harder told CNNMoney that Melania Trump would proceed with the lawsuit despite The Daily Mail’s retraction.
Melania Trump’s lawyer is Charles Harder, the lawyer who represented Hulk Hogan in his successful defamation suit against Gawker Media, which filed for bankruptcy and now for sale after $140 million reward to Hulk Hogan.