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Melania Trump was hoping to make a bundle on her fame and image, but her dreams of a multimillion-dollar payday were dashed by erroneous claims that she might have been an escort.
At least, that’s the claim of a lawsuit filed by the First Lady on Monday.
Trump has re-filed a lawsuit against the Daily Mail’s parent company, Mail Media, claiming that its erroneous reporting caused her to miss out on a financial windfall, the Washington Post reported.
“As a result of Defendant’s publication of defamatory statements about Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s brand has lost significant value, and major business opportunities that were otherwise available to her have been lost and/or substantially impacted. The economic damage to Plaintiff’s brand, and licensing, marketing and endorsement opportunities caused by the publication of Mail Online’s defamatory article, is multiple millions of dollars,” the lawsuit reads.
“Plaintiff had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person, as well as a former professional model and brand spokesperson, and successful businesswoman, to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which Plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world,” the complaint continues. “These product categories would have included, among other things, apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and fragrance.”
The suit, which alleges defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress is seeking damages “not less than $150 million.”
Trump had previously sued over the the August 2016 article in Maryland. However, that suit was reportedly dismissed by a judge on jurisdictional grounds. The new suit was filed in New York Supreme Court.
Trump initially sued the Daily Mail and Maryland blogger Webster Griffin Tarpley in September, claiming that a story saying that Trump worked for a modeling agency where the models also worked as escorts inaccurately painted her as a sex worker.
On Tuesday, a statement issued on behalf of Trump’s lawyer Charles Harder said that Trump had settled her suit against Tarpley, with Tarpley agreeing to pay “a substantial sum” to Trump.
“The First Lady of the United States has settled her lawsuit against Webster Griffin Tarpley of Maryland,” the statement, issued Tuesday, read. “Mr. Tarpley has issued the attached retraction and apology to Mrs. Trump and her family, and agreed to pay her a substantial sum as a settlement.”
In his own statement, Tarpley said his story, published last year, was “replete with false and defamatory statements” about Melania Trump.
“Plaintiff did legitimate and legal modeling work for legitimate business entities and did not work for any ‘gentleman’s club’ or ‘escort’ agencies,'” Trump’s lawsuit read. “Plaintiff was not a sex worker, escort or prostitute in any way, shape or form.”