Melania Trump has threatened to sue The Daily Mail, Politico and at least eight other news outlets for defamation, her lawyer says.
Trump, the wife of the Republican presidential nominee, has placed The Daily Mail and other news organizations "on notice... for making false and defamatory statements about her supposedly having been an 'escort' in the 1990s," Charles Harder, a lawyer for Trump, said in a statement.
In addition, Harder said that he had put Politico on notice for "false and defamatory statements" regarding its reporting on Trump's immigration history. Politico confirmed that its reporters had been sent notices.
The notices come just three days after The Daily Mail, a UK publication, published a report citing a story in a Slovenian magazine that claimed a New York modeling agency that once represented Trump "also operated as an escort agency for wealthy clients." That report was then picked up or referenced by other news outlets.
Gawker was sued into oblivion for invasion of privacy, not defamation. To the extent that we will still get to have a First Amendment in Peter Thiel’s America, that is an important distinction. Celebrities and public people are entitled to the same level of privacy as anybody else. Whether or not that includes the right to bankrupt a media company because your buddy recorded you boning his wife in a room you knew was wired for film is a matter for another generation of media lawyers.
Melania Trump is suing the Daily Mail and a Maryland blogger for libel, not invasion of privacy. She claims that the sources falsely and recklessly reported that she was an escort, which she says is not true. The Trump team is being represented by Charles Harder, who represented Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker.
The potential chilling effect on journalism and freedom of expression is arguably greater with defamation and libel suits than with privacy suits. Melania Trump is a public person. I don’t mean that politically: I personally think it’s cheap when people bring up a candidate’s family in an attempt to score political points. But as a legal distinction, she has to be a public person. If a famous person can bust up the media over reporting an allegation, we should all be very worried.
Of course, calling someone a prostitute can be defamation. I didn’t read the initial Daily Mail story about the Trump allegations, but it’s worth noting that story has been retracted. The Daily Mail claims that it was merely pointing out that these allegations about Melania’s past were out there, and that their story mentioned that there was no evidence for these allegations. But any media lawyer knows that simply throwing out the term “allegedly” before every unsupported statement is not a great defense.
Melania Trump has said obscene comments caught on videotape by her husband were unacceptable but did not represent the Donald Trump she knows.
She said the Republican presidential nominee was guilty of "boy talk" but was egged on by host Billy Bush. In the video, Mr Trump tells Mr Bush, who was then host of NBC's Access Hollywood, that he can force himself on women because he's a star.
In an interview with CNN, her first since the scandal began, Mrs Trump defended her husband's conduct with women, saying he had never behaved inappropriately over the years. Women commonly approach him to give him their phone numbers, she said.
Michelle Obama paid close attention to fashion throughout her time in the White House, and that was something we didn't ignore. This year, we spent plenty of time writing about and analyzing her outfits, applauding her support for new designers and her ability to stay true to her signature style. In 2016, fashion and politics collided a number of times, and not only when Michelle was in the room.
Melania Trump, who will take the reigns as FLOTUS in January, has already sparked controversy and made statements through her clothing on the campaign trail. And now labels are taking a firm stance against dressing her. Before the election, celebrities endorsed presidential candidates with small accessories or tees, but they announced their pride in a big way on Instagram. You can bet the internet had a response.
The YouTube user who posted the original video speculating that Barron Trump may be autistic is going to remove the video and issue an apology. "I've been in contact with Melania Trump's lawyer," YouTube user James Hunter shared Monday evening. "This video will be deleted in 24 hours and I will publish a full retraction and apology to Melania and Barron Trump." Hunter also revealed via his YouTube page that he meant no harm towards Barron and that he personally suffers from autism.
"I never ever meant this as a bullying video," Hunter wrote. "As someone who was diagnosed at age 5 and has gone through bullying myself, I would NEVER do something like that. I made this because I truly believed Barron was on the spectrum, and I wanted people to stop bullying him over his 'weird' behavior and explain to them that it might actually be due to a condition. ... I have a great respect for [Melania] and her family. I never meant to hurt anyone."