Melania Trump wins damages from Daily Mail over 'escort' allegation

Melania Trump walks along the Colonnade of the White House on April 5, 2017 in Washington, DC.Image copyright
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Mrs Trump had sought $150m in damages in her lawsuit

The UK’s Daily Mail newspaper has agreed to pay damages and costs to the first lady of the United States over an article about her modelling career.

The newspaper had reported allegations that Melania Trump once worked as an escort, but later retracted its article.

The story was published during the US election campaign last year.

Mrs Trump accepted damages and an apology from the newspaper at London’s High Court.

She filed her lawsuit in February, seeking damages of $150m (£120m). The amount accepted by Mrs Trump was not disclosed in court.

However, a report from the Reuters news agency said the settlement was worth less than $3 million, including legal costs and damages, citing an anonymous source familiar with the case.

In its apology, the Daily Mail acknowledged it had published “allegations that she provided services beyond simply modelling.”

“We accept that these allegations about Mrs Trump are not true,” the newspaper said.

A lawyer for Mrs Trump told the London court the allegations “strike at the heart of the claimant’s personal integrity and dignity”.

Mrs Trump’s lawsuit initially said that Mrs Trump had the “unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity… 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 [she] is one of the most photographed women in the world”.

Critics used the phrasing to question whether Mrs Trump had plans to make financial gains from her position.

A second version of the suit, re-filed weeks later, dropped the controversial wording.

Mrs Trump was born Melanija Knavs, in Sevnica, a small town about an hour’s drive from Slovenia’s capital of Ljubljana.

She was signed to a modelling agency in her late teens, and began flying around Europe and the US, appearing in high-profile ad campaigns.

She met Donald Trump in 1998, when she was 28 years old, at a party during New York Fashion week.

They married seven years later.

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Media captionWhat was Melania Trump like in Slovenia?

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