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Melania Trump Sues Daily Mail Over Escort Claims

She's seeking $150M in libel damages
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2016 1:24 AM CDT
Updated Sep 2, 2016 6:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – Melania Trump is taking on the Daily Mail—armed with the lawyer who brought down Gawker. Attorney Charles Harder announced Thursday that Trump is suing the British newspaper and US blogger Webster Tarpley for libel over claims that she worked as an escort in the '90s, the BBC reports. "These defendants made several statements about Mrs. Trump that are 100% false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation," said Harder, who represented Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker. "Defendants' actions are so egregious, malicious, and harmful to Mrs. Trump that her damages are estimated at $150 million."

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Trump placed the Mail and other news organizations on notice last week over reports repeating a Slovenian magazine's claim that the modeling agency she used to work for in New York "also operated as an escort agency for wealthy clients," CNNMoney reports. Within hours of the lawsuit being filed, the Mail issued an extensive retraction and apology, as did the Tarpley blog, which is currently offline. The Mail said it had never suggested that the allegations were true, but was simply reporting on how they "could impact the US presidential election even if they are untrue." Harder says the lawsuit against the Mail is going to continue despite the retraction. (A naked statue of Melania's husband, meanwhile, is being auctioned off to help immigrants.)

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