Melania Trump is suing the Daily Mail for $150 million for defamation

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In the last post I wrote about Melania Trump last week, I noted (amongst other stories) that Melania and her team of lawyers were making a lot of noise about suing the Daily Mail and at least one blogger over some salacious tabloid reporting about her past. The Daily Mail claimed that when Melania first came to America, she maybe, possibly, might have worked for an escort agency, or a modeling agency that had some sort of shadiness with also booking models as escorts. The Daily Mail has since issued apologies, clarifications and as of this week, a carefully worded retraction. Melania is still suing though.

Melania Trump, wife of the Republican nominee for U.S. president, filed a defamation lawsuit on Thursday against Mail Media, parent company of the U.K. publication The Daily Mail, as well as a blogger named Webster Griffin Tarpley. In a complaint lodged in Maryland Circuit Court, Trump is taking issue with an Aug. 19 article titled, “Naked photoshoots, and troubling questions about visas that won’t go away: The VERY racy past of Donald Trump’s Slovenian wife.”

She is represented by Charles Harder, the same attorney who handled Hulk Hogan’s privacy suit in a victory for the former professional wrestler that bankrupted Gawker Media with a $140 million verdict.

The story in The Daily Mail covered Trump’s journey to New York in the mid-1990s and raised questions about her past based on “highly-charged, lesbian-themed, nude photographs,” the exact timing of when she traveled to the U.S. on a visa, and her stint working for a modeling agency. The article relied on the work of a Slovenian journalist who had co-authored an unauthorized biography of Trump as well as a report early last month in a Slovenian magazine to make the claim that her modeling agency was run by a New York entrepreneur, who allegedly also operated an escort agency for wealthy clients. The article stated, “What Melania’s [composite card] looked like only the people involved know, but it is no coincidence she got a rich husband.”

According to Trump’s lawsuit, “The statements of fact in the Daily Mail Article are false. Plaintiff did legitimate and legal modeling work for legitimate business entities and did not work for any ‘gentleman’s club’ or ‘escort’ agencies. Plaintiff was not a sex worker, escort or prostitute in any way, shape or form, nor did she ever have a composite or presentation card for the sex business. Plaintiff did not come to the United States until 1996. Thus, Plaintiff did not, and could not have participated in a photo shoot in the United States or met her current husband in the United States prior to that time.”

The lawsuit follows legal threats sent out by Trump’s lawyer to a number of publications including Politico. Trump asserts thatThe Daily Mail consciously doubted the truth of the claims in the article, but decided to publish it anyway, and that reporters there can’t simply rely on “unsubstantiated” claims and “an unauthorized book written by malicious and bitter ‘reporters’ who have never met or spoken to Ms. Trump.”

“The conduct of Daily Mail was despicable, abhorrent, intentional, malicious and oppressive, and thus justifies an award of punitive damages,” states the complaint.

Besides defamation, Trump also is suing for tortious interference, contending that the published statements have gotten in the way of her “numerous” licensing and endorsement deals.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

The part that made my blood run cold was: “She is represented by Charles Harder, the same attorney who handled Hulk Hogan’s privacy suit.” She’s represented by Hulk Hogan’s lawyer? Did she get his name from Peter Thiel? Is the aim to shut down the Daily Mail like Thiel shut down Gawker?

Meanwhile, the escort-defamation nonsense is taking away from what should be the real controversy: we were promised a more in-depth explanation about Melania’s immigration history and visa status in the 1990s. We were told that Melania would speak about this in-depth. She still hasn’t. I hope to God some legit reporters are on the case. Also: Melania is still in the wind! She hasn’t made any public appearances in weeks.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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68 Responses to “Melania Trump is suing the Daily Mail for $150 million for defamation”

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  1. Lama Bean says:

    God she is so plasticky. That’s all I got.

    • Krakken says:

      For someone who was born lovely her new face is beginning to hurt my eyes. In that I do not like to look at her.
      Maybe this lawsuit will mean they depose her and she has to answer questions regarding work history/visas, and her education?

      • doofus says:

        based on the level of squint she puts out, it looks like it’s beginning to hurt her eyes, too.

        “Maybe this lawsuit will mean they depose her and she has to answer questions regarding work history/visas, and her education?”

        yeah, kind of what I was thinking too (commented down below). she may want to re-think this.

      • Goldie says:

        I would love it if Melania was deposed, but the fact that DM has already issued a retraction makes me think that they’ll probably settle quickly.

      • bluhare says:

        She looks like she copies her husband to me. The pursed lips and squinty eyes. Not to mention the orange.

    • Tessy says:

      They look like bookends. She’s taken on his facial expressions, and it does nothing for her.

  2. Lotusgoat says:

    Not a supporter of Trump or his family in any way, but it would be great if DM was shut down. They have plagerized multiple times (from cracked.com, among others), and their articles are trash.

    • LoveIsBlynd says:

      This is a dangerous wish- to shut down controversial media- sorry but that’s shades of fascism. I agree the DM can be trashy, but freedom of press is vital to the ebb and flow of information. If the DM is such “trash”, then don’t read it , but never hope for the demise of -any- media.

    • no says:

      I agree with you, Lotusgoat.

    • Tessy says:

      I don’t agree. Can’t you see they are trying to either buy out or shut down everything but the mainstream propaganda?

  3. Sixer says:

    The consensus on the Britisher side of Twitter this morning is that if there could possibly be a silver lining to the Trump candidacy, it would be the bankrupting of that well known Polluter Of Public Discourse, the Daily Fail. I for one would love to see Paul Dacre shorn of the fortune he has made by vandalising our public life.

    • LAK says:

      Considering how deep the pockets of the DM are, not to mention how embedded it is with the establishment, i think it will be difficult to dislodge.

      The NOTW was openly anti-establishment and went too far. They had to go. The DM expends alot of energy being in bed with it.

      Paul Dacre might go, but the DM is a hydra.

      That said, i wonder how many people realise that Piers Morgan is the Editor of the US A site and we all know the scrapes and lawsuits he repeatedly got into as Editor of the Mirror.

    • Betti says:

      Oh I would love to see Dacre get his, he is a vile little toad but then again what would the Cambridges/Middletons do without their press mouthpiece – the Fail would rip into them without him to protect them.

      Also, as LAK says, the Fail has deep pockets – deeper than Gawker.

    • Sixer says:

      It’s a pipe dream, I know, but imagine. No more horrible side bar of shame. No more collecting up all the awful people around the world, let alone in Britain, for their BTL horror. I think the Fail is particularly bad because it put so much effort into polluting the internet to the same extent as print media. I often see images collating the anti-immigrant front pages of the Express, for example, but it’s not as though the Express website is a go-to place online.

      ANYTHING that dents the Fail has to be a good thing, right? Even if’s a dent not a full-on destruction. That retraction they made on this was HUGE for them, so I think they are scared.

      • LAK says:

        The mailonline is a separate entity from the print edition in the same way the sunday editions differ from the week editions. Ie Separate teams and separate focus. The ‘rightminds’ and ‘news’ tabs on the mailonline is the closest it gets to the other two versions.

        The mailonline curates articles from other papaers, magazines etc. I’ve seen articles that originated from the National Enquirer or The Sun or some other scandal sheet. Usually they remove the byline and simply use the catchall byline ‘daily mail reporter’.

        The ticker tape of celeb body parts is something they’ve copied, improved and perfected from the page 3 murdoch papers and other papers like the daily star. The more salacious the better.

        What i find ergregious is when i go to a seemingly decent paper eg the Guardian or the times and find articles quoting the DM as a source or opinion pieces doing the same thing. It’s news feeding on itself!!!

        All of that said, i remain bemused that it’s so embedded in the world psyche. I find random people in random places and countries reading the DM!!!

      • Sixer says:

        That’s what pains me, LAK. It’s an aspect of Britland that I’d much prefer to see hidden away as a private shame. Instead, they’ve made themselves global. It makes me die a little bit inside every time I think about it.

    • Ninks says:

      Somebody on twitter commented on this by quoting Terry Pratchett ‘It’s like a wasp landing on a nettle, someone is going to get stung and you don’t mind who’ and it’s the truest thing I’ve read in ages.

    • Annetommy says:

      The Daily Mail is a horrible paper in many ways, but it’s owners’ pockets are far too deep to be shut down by this. Dacre is the editor but the owners are the Harmsworth / Rothermere family, as they have been since its foundation. It is also a depressingly popular paper, especially among women.

  4. HH says:

    Oh geesh! This is probably one of those things that no one will go to court over and there will be a settlement, making the DM look guilty by default. I wish they would have gone after her immigration status and her degree from University IN Slovenia… whatever that means. The direct quote from her website: “a degree in design and architecture at University in Slovenia.” This, in particular, IRKS me. First off, university shouldn’t be capitalized unless it’s being used as proper noun. It’s very clear they were attempting to fake people out, because the proper, grammatical statement would be “she obtained her degree from ‘a’ university in Slovenia.” Then, it would have been shady because people would have easily caught on and wondered why she didn’t just list the degree and university name. As it stands now, I’m sure people mentally autocorrect and read it as “University OF Slovenia” because that’s how it would/should read without the indefinite article attached.

    • swak says:

      Most people name which university they received their degree from – not simply A university.

      • HH says:

        Yes, that’s my point. Melania has yet to give any statement on the university name. Neither the “University in Slovenia” nor “University of Slovenia” exist…soooo… she’s lying. And no one is holding her feet to the fire. Yet, Trump was all about the “birther” movement. UGH!

  5. Naya says:

    Yep, its a big ol red herring. Its the perfect distraction because it will win her sympathy from otherwise good people, because good people empathize. It can also be span into a feminism issue (although her side probably wouldn’t push that too vigorously, feminists being a curse on civilization and all). In the meantime, Trump will keep her hidden in whatever tower she is being held at.

    I find it hard to believe that theres no journalist or wannabe journalist or even HRC campaign strategist looking into her immigration status. We should have definitive answers by now. EVERYBODY this campaign period seems inept as f*ck.

    • ladysussex says:

      I can promise you there definitely are journalists working over time to find dirt on Melania’s past. And I do sort of think this is a feminist/humanist issue, it’s just that most feminists aren’t going to step up on this one because of who she’s married to. Prostitution is illegal in our country, but should it be? If women truly have the right to decide what to do with their own bodies in reproductive issues, why shouldn’t they (or men for that matter) have the right to use their own bodies how they choose? If it’s not interfering with the life, liberty, or property of another person then why should it be illegal?
      Edit: Yes I do realize that many who work in prostitution are victimized and may not be in that field by choice. I’m not speaking of those situations, but ones where women are choosing to engage in sex for personal profit. And I would also like to point out that I am in no way a Trump supporter!

      • perplexed says:

        In this case, the problem would be that there’s no visa you can get for the work Melania is alleged to have done. Even if prostitution were legal, that still most likely wouldn’t be listed as one of the qualifications that would qualify her for an H1.

      • ladysussex says:

        @Perplexed Yes that’s a good point. But I was replying to what the commenter Naya said about it being a feminism issue. However, I do think that if any evidence had been found to discredit her status as a legal immigrant, it would have been story #1 a long time ago. I see the Melania immigration questioners no better than the Obama birth certificate questioners. And in this case it’s even more silly because it all happened before she married Trump, and she herself is not running for office.

      • perplexed says:

        “And in this case it’s even more silly because it all happened before she married Trump, and she herself is not running for office”

        But she herself has gone after illegal immigrants in a self-righteous manner, and immigration is a big part of Trump’s platform. So in that sense, I do think her immigration status at the time is relevant (if a journalist can find anything on it). And I can see why people wouldn’t believe she wasn’t in the USA under the normal terms of a HB1.

        It’s always been clear that Obama really was American-born. Hawaii his his birth certificate in their database. Though he really didn’t have to, he also did show everybody his birth certificate. There’s no way you can dispute that he was born in the USA, or alternatively, that his mother was American-born, which is why the birther movement that developed around him is just plain weird and doesn’t make any sense.

        I don’t think Melania has answered questions about her immigration status quite so forthrightly, when the answers to the questions should be quite easy if she came in to the country the way she claimed to have, and without a university degree or high profile modelling degree or any discernible skills that fit the strict visa categories it doesn’t seem to me quite as weird to question how she could have come into the USA on an H1. Her immigration status wouldn’t necessarily be disputable if the documentation is all there (somewhere), but since she gets a bit cagey about it, that makes it all the more stranger.

  6. ReineDidon says:

    I am in no way pro shaming and it is her life and her choices if she ever made the choice to pose nude or work for escort girl agency.
    For me the problem lays more with respecting her visa type and having a declared job other than working as an escort.
    I think it is her responsibility to explain what she did as work or stuies and her visa applications. It is her responsibility to clarify her situation so that no one can ever accuse her of shadiness or possible illegal methods.

  7. Realitycheck says:

    I really like the daily mail. They always post things that I am thinking as well. I hope they don’t get shut down.

  8. Alix says:

    Another perfect photo capturing the unbelievable architecture of Trump’s do.

    Seriously, can you even IMAGINE being in bed with that man? Sorry, I know some of you are still eating breakfast…

    • Lama Bean says:

      He is so disheveled (yes the hair is disastrous) and slovenly.

      Maybe Michelle should sue for Melania stealing her words.

      A month ago DT said Melania would be giving a press conference on her visa status “in a few weeks”. *still waiting*

  9. honeybee blues says:

    Ok, so here’s my theory for what it’s worth (not much since I can’t get my mind off of taco trucks, yum): I was living near the Slovenian border from ’89 – ’94 and made some Slovenian friends. There is no question that Melania “traveled on her back” as it were. And, she traveled well! I am NOT shaming. I could give a toss what she does for a living (sleeping with that gasbag has to be a job, not a pleasure; ok, my opinion) now or in the past. So, since the evidence is all over the place, I think DT is doing this to get rid of her. The DM will have zero trouble collecting credible evidence of her escort past, so DT can be “shocked” and divorce her. I know it’s just a theory, but I can’t figure out why else they would sue over something they know is so easily proven. It’s as if he’s daring the DM to “bring it.” Believe me, if they look, they’ll have it to bring. And it’s not like he’s above throwing his own wife under the bus. Again.

    • swak says:

      She’s gone once this is over – she’s past the expiration date for being his wife.

      • honeybee blues says:

        True, and he’ll blame her for the loss. HE will not have been the loser; she will have cost him the victory. People with NPD can’t be accountable for losses, only wins. The losses belong to or are caused by “others.”

      • Denise says:

        But he’s old now. Even at the height of his *ahem* attractiveness Heidi Klum wouldn’t admit to dating him (which is why he slams her publicly, he can’t handle that she denies it). He had to marry an unknown ‘model’ who was likely not modelling as her main job. He is vainer than vain and is only interested in a woman as arm candy so I can’t imagine he would settle for any woman who wasn’t decades younger and beautiful. Where will he find that? Unless he gets a golddigger who is hoping his expiration date is coming but he would have an iron clad prenup. I see him sticking with Melania. He has no other options.

    • LoveIsBlynd says:

      I seriously doubt he could get “rid” of her as a wife, he’d look terrible. He’s trying in vain to clean her up as FLOTUS. I’m not shaming her for being “sexy” but sex work is illegal, plain and simple. If she were suspected of armed robbery it would be an issue to “clean up”. I’m sorry, but those nude photos were not on the eclectic side, but more on the objectification edge.

    • HH says:

      He is either trying to divorce her or prove she had an escort past to make sure he doesn’t get the presidency because. We like to see the president as a “family person” so he can’t be single; and, of all the things Republicans have let slide, will they let “escort” go? I don’t think so. Honestly, I think Donald Trump is desperately running out of ideas prior to the debates. I can’t imagine him debating Hillary.

      • Jade says:

        I believe they would let it slide. They have let far more heinous things slide and her nude photos have slide. Not that I find nude photos or working as an escort (to add, legally working as an escort) wrong, it’s just that Trump has gotten this far REGARDLESS of whatever he is or has said. If the Democrat camp had nude photos or escort past, the Republicans would easily jump. I mean they already jumped over Obama’s birth certificate, which is already proven anyway. So what’s the truth to Trump supporters and some Republicans? The truth is nothing to them. He is a divorcee right? It still did not matter. So I don’t think it would matter if he divorces Melania.

        My theory is he would pretty much do his own thing if he’s in office for things that do not need Senate or other approvals. He can very well divorce Melania and push Ivanka forward.

  10. doofus says:

    not sure she should go this route.

    if they start digging deeper into her visa/immigration status from those days, they’re going to find that she didn’t play by the rules.

    • Size Does Matter says:

      I think it is idiotic for another reason – why no lawsuit related to stories about her degree or visa issues? Because those stories are true.

  11. Adrien says:

    Team Melania then. Sue them for more, Mrs. Trump. 150M is paltry.

  12. Erinn says:

    Can she even argue that this is what actually got in the way of her licensing and endorsement deals? Because I feel like the whole political run of her husband could be argued to be what is hindering these deals.

    Honestly… I’d love for this whole attack from her side to actually cause more damage than good. She has to prove that it’s not true, right? I could be wrong there, but wouldn’t she have to show that actual damage has been caused and that kind of thing? And couldn’t that open a lot more information on her visa work?

  13. Tara says:

    I find this ironic coming from the people who are slandering Hillary by claiming she’s terminally ill.

    • ladysussex says:

      I think you are using too much logic, Tara! LOL you can’t think like a normal person when it comes to The DM. They are in the business of selling rags and they will literally throw anyone under the bus to have a salacious story. They are only on the side of making money, no matter who they have to slander to do it.

  14. Jwoolman says:

    I thought someone checked with the other model and/or photographer in the soft porn pics published and verified the shoot was in the US before 1996? She claims she wasn’t paid, but that’s rather unlikely although it could have been a non-cash payment.

  15. Harryg says:

    Oh my god she has even started to look like The Donald!

    • JudyK says:

      So I’m not the only one who noticed that!

      • Pandy says:

        No, they have the exact same expression. It’s almost worse on her though, you know? And so many of these “lawsuits” never happen, they are just announced so we are left with the impression of outrage/never happened etc.

        IF they do win this lawsuit (and I’m betting she did work as an escort – those pix were not supermodel worthy), that can be her payout when Donald starts searching for #4 or 8 or whichever wife number he’s on now.

    • nicole says:

      Yes, that article pic, she looks like Trump with a long wig, ha ha!

  16. Piper says:

    Just in general, I wish that journalist actually did their homework, and investigated , and showed some actual integrity. I was watching a cable news show the other night and the two reporters were basically smirking and mocking while delivering the news. Boy do I Miss growing up watching Peter Jennings, Sam Donaldson ,and Tom Brokaw. News has almost become so tabloid trashy that it shouldn’t even be called journalism anymore!

    • doofus says:

      no lies detected.

    • Shaunna says:

      @Piper You stated the current Journalistic environment perfectly!! Integrity and delivering the news without opinions does not seem to exist anymore. If I watch Fox or CNN it seems as though it is their mission to slant the news pro Tump (Fox) or anti Trump (CNN). I just want facts without their bias. Then, there is the tabloid type reporting mixed into almost all news entities. It has become so bad.

      • Lady D says:

        I miss the ‘just the facts, ma’am’ type of journalism too. Badly.

      • MoreSalt says:

        Fact: President Obama was born in Hawaii.

        Fact: He released documentation supporting that fact.

        Fact: Around 20% of Americans still believe he was not born in the U.S.

        You can lead a horse to facts but you can’t make them think.

  17. Miss Jupitero says:

    If this goes to trial, she will have to sit on a witness stand and answer a lot of questions under oath. Probably won’t happen before November though, and she probably expects them to settle.

    As for escorting, she certainly may have worked as an escort– it’s a pretty common thing. It would be very hard to prove prostitution though even if it seems obvious– escort agencies are typically very, very careful to avoid any discussion of sex. Pimping and pandering is a felony, and they are very well aware of it. This is why they call them “escort” or “modeling” agencies.

    You would think that a journalist would be aware of this.

  18. Suzanne says:

    Doesn’t the timing suck….like does the possibility that she might be the First Lady soon have any bearing on her decision to make tabloid gossip covers? Like she needs the money too…by the way!

  19. JudyK says:

    So unclassy to be filing a lawsuit w/ the rag, the Daily Mail, when your husband is running for President of the United States. A classy person would consider the source and consider it beneath her to respond to such a trashy so-called magazine.

    Maybe she’s supplementing Trump for what he’s spent of his “own money” on his Campaign. And, yeah, is she in hiding?

    • Tiffany says:

      Or she is making a nice cushion for herself for when she leaves Tangerine. It says, she is suing so if they settle, the money will be in her name and I bet dollars to donuts she is going to ask her attorney how to make that happen.

  20. Maya says:

    How the f is Trump getting away with not having to answer questions about lots of stuff plus his tax returns.

    Those mf republicans are the worst I have seen and I hope to god that Democrats takes the presidency, the house, the senate and the Supreme Court back in November.

    • Dlo says:

      What a complete generalization. There are good and bad in both parties just like in real life. Wow, just wow ~ shaking my head

  21. noway says:

    Does anyone find it ironic the man who says all sort of outlandish things that aren’t true, i.e. President Obama not born in the US, Ted Cruz’s father involved in Kennedy’s assassination, etc. is now suing someone else for saying crazy outlandish things. Yes Melania is suing, but with Donald’s blessing, money and connections. Neither are right, but yeah it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  22. jferber says:

    We’ll find out about Melania’s immigration situation and Donald Trump’s taxes at the same time–never. I already realize that as a teacher, I pay more taxes than Donald Trump because of his cushy tax loopholes. His excuse for not revealing his taxes, that he’s being audited, is just that– an excuse. He could easily release that info if it would do him no harm (including how much he’s indebted to Russia and China). These people are trolling America big-time. Donald Trump can’t ever be of public service because he never sees past his own self-interest. His is a cynical and short-term game. He’s unscrupulous and shady as hell. I do feel kind of bad for Melania, because in her trophy wife status, she never signed up for being First Lady (not that she will ever be one). She made her bargain with Donald long ago. I just hope she’s satisfied with her part of the deal. He’s a slimy misogynist who sees women as either blow-up dolls or not blow-up dolls, and if they’re not, he’s already lost interest and they’re fair game for his nuclear mouth. Good luck, America.

  23. Izzy says:

    If she and her lawyer are stupid enough to go forward with this it could backfire badly. Their suit filing specifically references her immigration status and when she first worked in the US. They left the door wide open for depositions and disvovery on the matter, which means Melania might (finally) be forced to tell the truth.

  24. Denise says:

    Trump regularly slams women for ‘not being hot anymore’ yet his own wife has had so much work done she can barely see out of her eyes anymore and is hiding under many layers of bad, bad, makeup. It must be a real treat trying to live up to ageless Adonis Trump’s impossible expectations.