Friday 15 December 2017

Daily Mail apologises and retracts claims First Lady Melania Trump 'worked as an escort'

The paper will also have to pay damages

First Lady Melania Trump honors International Women of Courage during a ceremony at the State Department in Washington, DC, March 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSONJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
First Lady Melania Trump honors International Women of Courage during a ceremony at the State Department in Washington, DC, March 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSONJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Cathy Gordon

Donald Trump's wife Melania has accepted damages and an apology at the High Court in London over allegations about her work as a professional model.

The action was against Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail.

Mr Justice Nicol was told that an article published in the newspaper in August last year "included false and defamatory claims" about her "which questioned the nature of her work as a professional model, and republished allegations that she provided services beyond simply modelling".

Her lawyer John Kelly said the article included statements that Mrs Trump denied the allegations and Paulo Zampolli, who ran the modelling agency, also denied the allegations.

Perfectly coiffed: Melania Trump has updated her profile picture to that of her official portrait
Perfectly coiffed: Melania Trump has updated her profile picture to that of her official portrait

The article, he said, also stated that there was no evidence to support the allegations.

He told the judge: "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'."

Mr Kelly said the allegations about Mrs Trump were not true - and "strike at the heart of the claimant's personal integrity and dignity".

Catrin Evans QC, for the publishers, told the judge: "The defendant acknowledges that these claims about the claimant are untrue, and we retract and withdraw them.

"The defendant is here today publicly to set the record straight, and to apologise to the claimant for any distress and embarrassment that the articles may have caused her."

The amount of damages were not disclosed in court at the hearing on Wednesday.

The total payment of damages and costs is believed to come to less than three million dollars (€2.8m).

Press Association

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