First lady Melania Trump has won a libel case against a British tabloid that published false allegations about her work as a professional model.
Catrin Evans QC, for the Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers, acknowledged that the newspaper published false allegations about Trump.
‶The defendant is here today publicly to set the record straight and to apologize to the claimant for any distress and embarrassment that the articles may have caused her,″ she said, according to The Guardian.
Trump had originally sought $150 million in damages, but The Guardian reported that the undisclosed settlement is likely to be less than $3 million, including legal costs.
On Aug. 20, 2016, the Daily Mail published a double-page spread with the headline: ‶Racy photos and troubling questions about his wife’s past that could derail Trump.″ The story went on to suggest that Melania Trump worked at an escort service in Italy and that her New York modeling agency "operated as an escort service for wealthy clients,″ according to The Daily Wire.
‶The article included statements that Mrs. Trump denied the allegations and Paolo Zampolli, who ran the modeling agency, also denied the allegations and the article also stated that there was no evidence to support the allegations,″ said solicitor John Kelly, of the Harbottle and Lewis law firm, which represented the first lady. ‶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.' These allegations about Mrs. Trump are not true.″
Kelly's statement added: ‶The allegations strike at the heart of the claimant’s personal integrity and dignity. The claimant has not acted as alleged. The suggestion that such allegations even merit investigation is deeply offensive and has caused a great deal of upset to the claimant.″
The Daily Mail had already published a retraction on Sep. 1, 2016, but denied that it intended to allege Trump had previously worked as a prostitute.
‶The article, which was also published online by the Mailonline/DailyMail.com website under the headline 'Naked photoshoots, and troubling questions about visas that won't go away: The VERY racy past of Donald Trump's Slovenian wife' 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 statement, which is posted on the Daily Mail website, read.
It continued: ‶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 Mr. Zampolli. The point of the article was that these allegations could impact the U.S. presidential election even if they are untrue.″