NEW YORK ― First lady Melania Trump has refiled a lawsuit against The Daily Mail and is seeking no less than $150 million in damages from the publication over a report last year that she worked as an escort.
In the lawsuit, Trump claimed she lost out on the opportunity to make millions of dollars “to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories” as “one of the most photographed women in the world.” The Daily Mail retracted its story in September.
“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 says. “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.”
“There has never been a first lady of the United States who insinuated that she intended to make a lot of money because of the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity of being first lady,” Richard Painter, who served as President George W. Bush’s White House ethics counsel, told The Washington Post.
The suit lists “apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and fragrance” as products Trump could have made money from.
Trump also reached a settlement this week with a Maryland blogger who published a story last year saying there were rumors Trump worked as an escort. Trump’s lawyer told Poynter that the blogger, Webster Tarpley, apologized for publishing the story and agreed to pay Trump a “substantial sum.” Danielle Giroux, Tarpley’s attorney, confirmed that Tarpley and Trump had reached a settlement.
Trump initially jointly sued both Tarpley and The Daily Mail in Maryland, but a judge ruled that she could not bring the case against The Daily Mail in the state.
Trump is being represented by Charles Harder, who also represented Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker.