13 Apr 2017 02:28 PM EST
-by Laura Tucker, Staff Writer; Image: Melania Trump (Image Source: Regine Manhaux via Wikimedia Commons)
It's never been a secret that Melania Trump isn't your typical FLOTUS.
But The Daily Mail ran a story last year that said it went further than that. They reported she had been a paid escort when she first arrived in the United States from Slovenia. Mrs. Trump sued and has now settled the lawsuit.
Last August, with Donald Trump the Republican nominee and the election at the top of many news stories, Daily Mail published a story with the title, "Naked photoshoots and troubling questions about visas that won't go away: The VERY racy past of Donald Trump's Slovenian wife."
The story went on to call her out for "highly-charged lesbian-themed, nude photographs." It also questioned when she had actually arrived in this country on a visa. This was important during the election because of her husband's stance on immigration policies.
The article pulled on stories from a journalist from Slovenia who had co-written an unauthorized biography of Mrs. Trump. Additionally, a Slovenian magazine was used as another source in a claim that a New York entrepreneur ran both the modeling agency she worked for and an escort agency that catered to wealthy clients. The article also suggested that she and Trump had met three years previous to when they have claimed.
Mrs. Trump set a defamation lawsuit in motion in September, filing her case in Maryland. She obtained the services of Charles Harder, the same attorney who won Hulk Hogan's privacy suit against Gawker Media. Additionally, she sued Webster Griffin Tarpley, a Maryland blogger who reported similar things on his website.
When a Maryland judge stated this wasn't a case that should be heard in her courtroom, it was refiled in New York, and without Tarpley. At the same time that Donald Trump was trying to distance himself from his businesses because of conflicts with the presidency, his wife's lawsuit was discussing lost business opportunities for her.
But now the First Lady and Mail Media, Daily Mail's parent company, have announced that they have settled the lawsuit in a joint press release. It also states that Mail Media is apologizing and paying her an unspecified amount of money in the settlement.
"We accept that these allegations about Mrs. Trump are not true, and we retract and withdraw them," said Mail Media in a statement. "We apologize to Mrs. Trump for any distress that our publication caused her. To settle Mrs. Trump's two lawsuits against us, we have agreed to pay her damages and costs."
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