WASHINGTON, April 12, 2017 — First Lady Melania Trump has won her lawsuit against British tabloid The Daily Mail over a highly critical and arguably false 2016 article about her time as a model. Her attorneys argued that the story damaged her ability to be build businesses based on her status as a “successful businesswoman.”
The Daily Mail is a tabloid newspaper based in Britain but also available in a digital version, which has significant amount of readership in the United States.
The suit was originally filed in Montgomery County, Maryland but was dismissed, with the court claiming it did not have jurisdiction. Ms. Trump later filed the suit in New York. The suit did not explicitly mention President Trump or even Ms. Trump’s status as First Lady.
According to a joint statement filed by both parties, the Daily Mail retracted its false statements, saying Melania Trump “provided services beyond simply modeling.” Ms. Trump’s suit had initially asked for at least $150 million in damages. Agreed upon damages were estimated at approximately $3 million.
Along with compensating the First Lady for damages, the Daily Mail issued an apology, stating in part “We accept that these allegations about Mrs. Trump are not true and we withdraw them.”
Daily Mail has in previous legal actions been forced to pay damages to author J.K. Rowling and music legend Elton John. The current Wikipedia entry on the tabloid currently states conclude that the tabloid is “generally unreliable” and cannot be used for citations.
The Daily Mail’s original Melania Trump article ran in the newspaper with the glaring headline “Racy photos, and troubling questions about his wife’s past that could derail Trump.” It was retracted less than two weeks after publication, with the media outlet admitting there was no basis for the allegations.
Mrs. Trump has also sued a Maryland blogger, who published claims much similar to those cited by the Daily Mail. The blogger subsequently agreed to pay a settlement in that case.