The Daily Mail has reached a settlement with First Lady Melania Trump after being sued over an article alleging that Melania’s modeling career was not entirely professional. The story was published in an August issue of The Daily Mail and Melania responded with a $150 million lawsuit. The company has agreed to pay $3 million in damages as a settlement. The Daily Mail has also apologized for, according to their statement, “question[ing] the nature of her work as a professional model, and republish[ing] allegations that she provided services beyond simply modelling… We accept that these allegations about Mrs. Trump are not true and we retract and withdraw them. We apologize to Mrs. Trump for any distress that our publication caused her.” The apology was legally presented at London’s High Court.
Initially, the story that ran on The Daily Mail was headlined by “Racy photos, and troubling questions about his wife’s past that could derail Trump.” The article claimed that Melania met Donald Trump three years before their public meeting, and that the first public meeting was orchestrated. The story was available in print and on their website. It was retracted two weeks later, although that early apology tried to emphasize that “the point of the article was that these allegations could impact the U.S. presidential election even if they are untrue.” However, according to Melania’s representatives, the damage had been done, and she was temporarily harmed in her ability to do business, as one of the head entrepreneurs in the Trump family.
These allegations are not the first Melania has taken to court. In February, she settled a lawsuit against a Maryland blogger who wrote an article alleging that the First Lady had once worked as an upper-class escort. That blog article also reported that she had suffered a nervous breakdown after her Republican National Convention speech last year.