The Slatest

British Paper Apologizes, Pays “Substantial Damages” to Melania Trump Over Article

First Lady Melania Trump sits onstage during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on December 26, 2018.
First Lady Melania Trump sits onstage during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on December 26, 2018.
SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

The Telegraph newspaper has apologized to Melania Trump for an article that it published in its magazine supplement last week that included several inaccurate statements about the first lady. It marked at least the third time the first lady has come out on top after filing lawsuits against media outlets over articles that she claimed were defamatory. On Saturday, the Telegraph published an apology, saying that its Jan. 19 magazine cover story titled “The Mystery of Melania” “contained a number of false statements which we accept should not have been published.”

The newspaper said it apologizes “unreservedly” to Mealnia Trump and her family “for any embarrassment caused by our publication,” adding that “as a mark of our regret we have agreed to pay Mrs Trump substantial damages as well as her legal costs.” Among other things, the publication said the article shouldn’t have claimed that Melania Trump was struggling in her modeling career before meeting Donald Trump and she didn’t move forward in her career because of his assistance. The paper also said Melania Trump was a “successful professional model in her own right before she met her husband” and she didn’t cry on election night.

Suing publications for what they write about her has turned into a lucrative side venture for Melania Trump. In 2017, she settled a defamation lawsuit against a Maryland blogger who had claimed she once worked as an escort. The lawsuit was settled for a “substantial sum,” a spokesman for the first lady’s attorney said at the time. That same year, the Daily Mail and Mail Online agreed to a settlement that included significant damages estimated at under $3 million to settle a lawsuit. The article included “false and defamatory claims about [Mrs Trump] which questioned the nature of her work as a professional model and republished allegations that she provided services beyond simply modeling,” according to a statement at the time.