Lawyers for Melania Trump on Thursday filed suit for $150m damages against the Daily Mail in Maryland state court. The wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is also suing a blogger, Webster Tarpley, the Guardian reported
Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, said: “These defendants made several statements about Mrs Trump that are 100% false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation [and] broadcast their lies to millions of people throughout the US and the world – without any justification.
“Their many lies include, among others, that Mrs Trump supposedly was an ‘escort’ in the 1990s before she met her husband. Defendants’ actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs Trump that her damages are estimated at $150m.”
The suit was filed in response to articles published in August by the Daily Mail which reported rumors that Trump worked as an escort in the 1990s. The article also contained allegations that Trump came to New York a year earlier than she has claimed, raising issues about her immigration status. Trump denied a story in Politico in which questions about her immigration status were first reported.
Tarpley’s blogpost claimed, per the suit, that “it is widely known Melania was not a working model but rather a high-end escort” and that she had a “mental breakdown” after a plagiarism controversy
over her speech to the Republican national convention in Cleveland in July.
News of the lawsuit came 68 days before the election, on the day Donald Trump pledged to promote “patriotism” in schools and a day after he gave a hardline immigration policy speech
, hours after striking conciliatory notes on the topic in a meeting with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto.
The Republican nominee, who has consistently trailed Hillary Clinton
in the polls, has developed a combative relationship with the media, blacklisting a number of news outlets and pledging to pass stricter libel laws if elected.