Tabloid retracts Melania Trump ′escort′ claims | News | DW | 02.09.2016
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Tabloid retracts Melania Trump 'escort' claims

The UK's "Daily Mail" newspaper says it regrets "any misinterpretation" in a report about Melania Trump's past. The former model has sued the tabloid over a "tremendously damaging" article.

The "Daily Mail" retracted late Thursday a story published last month, alleging that a modeling agency that Trump worked for in the 1990s also served as an escort business.

The paper had cited a Slovenian magazine, whose story suggested that Trump's New York-based firm linked wealthy clients with women for sexual services. The allegations originally surfaced in a book about the modeling agency.

"To the extent that anything in the "Daily Mail's" article was interpreted as stating or suggesting that Mrs Trump worked as an 'escort' or in the 'sex business'... is hereby retracted, and the Daily Mail newspaper regrets any such misinterpretation," the tabloid said in a statement on its own website.

Paper distances itself from claims

The paper insisted that its article, published on August 20, focused on how the allegations could damage her husband, billionaire Donald Trump's presidential election campaign.

The statement added that the article had stated that there had been no support for the allegations.

Melania Trump announced last week that she intended to take legal action against the Daily Mail and Maryland blogger, Webster Griffin Tarpley.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday at a court in Maryland. In a statement, her lawyer Charles Harder suggested the damages were estimated at $150 million (133 million euros).

"These defendants made several statements about Mrs Trump that are 100 percent false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation," Harder said.

'Untrue and hurtful claims'

The lawsuit alleges that Mail Media Inc., which publishes the "Daily Mail Online," and Tarpley, wrote "false and defamatory statements," including that the former model had suffered from "a full-blown nervous breakdown."

Tarpley could not immediately be reached for comment.

Trump was born in Slovenia and moved to the United States in the 1990s. She married Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, in 2005.

Last month, Mrs. Trump also faced accusations over whether she had worked illegally in the US before applying for a green card and eventually being granted US citizenship.

mm/gsw (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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