Earlier today, First Lady Melania Trump, learned that she had won a major legal victory in her libel fight against the UK’s Daily Mail. The media company, along with it’s partner the Daily Mail Online, agreed to pay almost $3 MILLION in damages to settle a lawsuit with Mrs. Trump over their decision to run a story that claimed she may have worked as a prostitute in her younger days. Trump had been seeking around $150 MILLION in damages, and if she’d won – which seems likely given the nature of the story and the lack of evidence for the claim – the Daily Mail could have been forced out of business. While neither the Daily Mail nor representatives for Trump would confirm the final settlement figure, the Wall Street Journal says that sources have told them the settlement was for $2.9 Million.
Daily Mail to pay Melania Trump $2.9 million to settle lawsuits over article https://t.co/Rz23mIdX3R
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 12, 2017
According to the settlement, the Daily Mail was forced to retract the story and then apologized on Wednesday, acknowledging that their article was false and could have done major damage to the President’s wife:
The Daily Mail newspaper and the Mail Online/DailyMail.com website published an article on 20th August 2016 about Melania Trump which questioned the nature of her work as a professional model, and republished allegations that she provided services beyond simply modelling. The article also claimed that Mr and Mrs Trump may have met three years before they actually met, and ‘staged’ their actual meeting as a ‘ruse’.
We accept that these allegations about Mrs Trump are not true and we retract and withdraw them. We apologise 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.
The original story ran back in August 2016 under the troubling headline “Racy photos and troubling questions about his wife’s past that could derail Trump.”
Throughout the ordeal Melania Trump never wavered, telling the media, “People don’t really know me. I’m very strong, I’m very confident. I can handle everything. Don’t feel sorry for me.”