It is appalling that online and print media outlets and tabloids have circulated a story suggesting that Melania Trump, the former Melania Knauss, was a paid escort before marrying Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for U.S. President.
Attorney Charles J. Harder has been retained by Mrs. Trump to pursue claims for defamation against Politico and other internet news aggregators, and against the Daily Mail, a UK tabloid. Mr. Harder successfully put Gawker out of business recently by obtaining a judgment of $140 million on behalf of Hulk Hogan for invading his privacy. Gawker published a video of the Hulkster having intimate relations with Heather Clem, at that time the spouse of Bubba the Love Sponge, who it turns out was the camera man for this DIY project. The couple has since divorced.
Mr. Harder issued the following statement regarding Mrs. Trump:
“This law firm is litigation counsel for Melania Trump. Mrs Trump has placed several news organizations on notice of her legal claims against them, including Daily Mail among others, for making false and defamatory statements about her supposedly having been an ‘escort’ in the 1990s. All such statements are 100% false, highly damaging to her reputation, and personally hurtful. She understands that news media have certain leeway in a presidential campaign, but outright lying about her in this way exceeds all bounds of appropriate news reporting and human decency.”
The Daily Mail, a British tabloid with a taste for the sensational, could not back up its claim, relying upon a bizarre third-hand account. The story does not actually accuse Mrs. Trump. As for the Daily Mail, it knows only what it reads in the papers.
Earlier this month, a Slovenian magazine, Suzy, published a front page story claiming Melania’s modeling agency in New York, run by New York entrepreneur, Paolo Zampolli, also operated as an escort agency for wealthy clients. Mr. Zampolli denied the allegations as “f***** rubbish.”
Although Politico and a number of other news aggregators delinked its articles in reference to the Daily Mail article, those publications have not delivered the apology that Mr. Harder demanded. The Daily Mail has not retracted the story or removed it from its website. That’s because the article is not defamatory. It does not state that she was an escort or impugn her reputation. It refers to the Suzy magazine article, stating that the Daily Mail was unable to confirm the story. The libel laws in England afford the press less protection than the First Amendment does for the U.S. press. In addition, the losing party in UK litigation must pay all of the attorney’s fees of the victor. The Daily Mail has been through these wars, and its lawyers must know that they colored within the lines.
Melania Trump is a beautiful woman with a career in modeling, who happens to be married to one of the world’s richest men. It is no reason to abuse her good name with false stories about her being a hooker. She did not bargain for such insults when she decided to wed Mr. Trump. It is unacceptable that such lurid accusations have been made against Mrs. Trump, the modest and family-oriented wife of an American leader in business and, now, politics. There is absolutely nothing to support the Daily Mail’s story. It is another smear, following the Lesbo-Gate and Visa-Gate attacks from prior weeks. It is a perverted media attempt to punish her because she loves a man everyone loves to hate.
By hook or by crook, Melania Trump has worked her way up from her modest background to take her place on the world stage. She is not anyone’s punching bag, and no one puts words in her mouth. She speaks for herself. As a strong, proud, black woman, she will not back down.
© 2016 The Revolted Colonies