Melania Trump says Daily Mail article deprived her of a chance to cash in

The suit raises questions about whether Donald Trump and his family understand the ethical conflicts created by mixing public service with commercial opportunities

Jef Feeley
First Published8 Feb 2017
US First Lady Melania Trump has also come in for criticism after visitors to the White House website in January were told about her jewelry line on QVC. Photo: Reuters
US First Lady Melania Trump has also come in for criticism after visitors to the White House website in January were told about her jewelry line on QVC. Photo: Reuters

Wilmington, Delaware: First Lady Melania Trump has filed a lawsuit against a British newspaper, saying a defamatory article it later retracted deprived her of the chance to launch a lucrative brand of clothing, shoes, jewelry and perfume.

The suit against the publisher of the Daily Mail accused it of causing “tremendous harm” to her reputation and making it nearly impossible to take advantage of “major business opportunities” available “for a multi-year term during which Plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world.”

ALSO READ: US defence department looking to rent space in Trump Tower: report

The lawsuit asserts that she has a “unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to “launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories.” It says further she could have sold “apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and fragrance.”

Filed in state court in Manhattan on Monday after being dismissed by a Maryland judge last week, the suit raises questions again about whether President Donald Trump and his family understand the ethical conflicts created by mixing public service with commercial opportunities.

Most ethics experts, including the agency that monitors such matters in the federal government, have said Trump should divest his holdings. Instead, Trump has turned over management of his company, the Trump Organization, to his two elder sons and pledged no new foreign deals during his term. The president has said he has no legal or moral obligation to do more.

Melania Trump has also come in for criticism about conflicts. Visitors to the White House website in January were told about her jewelry line being sold on QVC Inc., a home-shopping network owned by billionaire John Malone’s Liberty Interactive Corp. The reference was removed after news accounts on it appeared.

also read: Donald Trump’s travel ban shows US misunderstanding its anti-terror duties: Chinese media

In her libel case, she accuses the newspaper’s website of running an article that said her “well-publicized professional modeling career in the 1990s was a ruse” to cover her work as an “elite escort” in the sex trade.

Melania Trump sued Mail Media Inc. in September 2016 over the story, which was based on rumors originally spread by a Slovenian magazine. The former model sued in state court in Maryland after the website and Webster Tarpley, a blogger who also reported the claims, issued retractions.

A judge concluded Trump didn’t have the right to sue the newspaper company in Maryland, but allowed her claims against Tarpley to proceed. On Tuesday, Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, said she had settled with Tarpley, who had agreed to pay her “a substantial sum as a settlement.” Reuters

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HomenewsworldMelania Trump says Daily Mail article deprived her of a chance to cash in

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