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Melania Trump Settles Defamation Lawsuit Against Maryland Blogger

Variety logo Variety 2/7/2017 Ted Johnson
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First Lady Melania Trump has settled her defamation lawsuit against a blogger in Maryland who wrote on claims that she once worked as an escort.

A spokesman for the first lady’s attorney, Charles Harder, said that the lawsuit was settled for a “substantial sum.”

The blogger, Webster Tarpley, also issued a statement in which he said that his article, which he posted on Aug. 2, was “replete with false and defamatory statements about her.”  

He wrote, “I had no legitimate factual basis to make these false statements and I fully retract them,” adding, “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.”

Trump had also filed a lawsuit against Mail Media, the parent company of the Daily Mail, but that claim was tossed last month over jurisdictional issues. Her legal team refiled the claim against Mail Online on Monday in New York state court. The Mail Online retracted its story back in September, but no settlement was reached.

In her New York lawsuit, Trump’s attorneys wrote that the publication of the story online had damaged her reputation and commercial prospects.

They wrote that she “had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to “launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multimillion-dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world.”

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