Saturday 16 November 2019

$3m damages for Melania over false article in 'Mail'

Libel victory: First Lady Melania Trump Picture: Getty
Libel victory: First Lady Melania Trump Picture: Getty

Cathy Gordon

Donald Trump's wife Melania has accepted damages and costs of up to $3m (€2.8m) after British newspaper the 'Daily Mail' apologised for false allegations about her work as a professional model.

In the High Court in London, 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 Ms Trump denied the allegations and Paulo Zampolli, who ran the modelling agency, also denied the allegations.

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 Ms 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 was not disclosed in court at the hearing yesterday.

Mr Kelly said the allegations had caused a "great deal of upset and distress to the claimant".

The total payout in damages and costs is understood to be in relation to the proceedings in both the UK and US.

Irish Independent

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