The Slatest

Melania Trump Sues Daily Mail for Hurting “Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity” to Monetize Her Brand

First lady Melania Trump stands next to something else that might be hurting her brand.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

On Monday, first lady Melania Trump refiled a lawsuit against Mail Media, the owner of the Daily Mail and Mail Online, over an unsubstantiated story claiming Trump had worked as an escort. The suit alleges that the August story damaged Trump’s “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to launch a fashion brand while she is “one of the most photographed women in the world.” From the Washington Post:

“These product categories would have included, among other things, apparel accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and fragrance,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed on Trump’s behalf by California attorney Charles Harder.

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The suit filed Monday did not spell out a plan by Trump to market her products during her tenure as first lady, but mentioned that her reputation had suffered just as she was experiencing a “multi-year term” of elevated publicity. The suit says the Daily Mail article “impugned her fitness to perform her duties as First Lady of the United States.”

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Trump had previously filed against blogger Webster Griffin Tarpley, who posted about the allegations, and Mail Media in Maryland. Trump has reportedly settled her suit against Tarpley for a “substantial sum.”

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The Maryland suit against Mail Media was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds earlier this month. Trump’s new suit has been filed with the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. She is seeking at least $150 million in damages. Her lawyer, Charles Harder, successfully represented another high-profile figure in a suit against a media organization: Harder’s client Hulk Hogan won $140 million and bankrupted Gawker Media last year.

In other Trump brand news: Melania’s stepdaughter Ivanka’s brand does seem to be suffering, even without an unsubstantiated Daily Mail story floating around. Last week Nordstrom announced that it would no longer carry Ivanka’s clothing line, and Neiman Marcus is backing away from her jewelry line.

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