First Lady Melania Trump has settled a libel lawsuit against a blogger who published a post last year claiming she had once worked as an escort. Maryland-based blogger Webster Tarpley made the accusations in August but today he put out a fulsome apology to Mrs. Trump and her entire family. The Washington Post published the apology:
I posted an article on August 2, 2016 about Melania Trump that was replete with false and defamatory statements about her. I had no legitimate factual basis to make these false statements and I fully retract them. I acknowledge that these false statements were very harmful and hurtful to Mrs. Trump and her family, and therefore I sincerely apologize to Mrs. Trump, her son, her husband and her parents for making these false statements.
In addition to the apology, Tarpley also reportedly paid a “substantial sum” according to Mrs. Trump, though her lawyers declined to specify exactly how much money was involved.
When she filed the suit against Mr. Tarpley, Melania Trump also filed a libel suit against the Daily Mail which published the same accusations last year. That lawsuit was dismissed by a Maryland judge citing jurisdictional issues. However, today, Mrs. Trump refiled the $150 million lawsuit in New York. From the NY Daily News:
Melania claims the 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,” contained bogus and defamatory claims – hurting both her reputation and many business interests…
The “defamatory statements” in the article “impugned her fitness to perform her duties as First Lady of the United States,” the suit claims.
“Mail Online’s conduct was extreme and outrageous and beyond the bounds of decency in a civilized society,” the civil complaint further accuses, describing the article as a “scurrilous charge that the future First Lady of the United States worked as a prostitute…”
One of the claims made in the newly filed lawsuit is that Melania missed out on a “unique once-in-a-lifetime” chance to profit off her celebrity. This sounds like lawyer spin to argue for a better settlement to me, but the story as far as the left is concerned is, “Daily Mail Article Hurt Melania Trump’s Chance To Profit As FLOTUS.”