Monday, July 15

Melania Trump accepts Daily Mail damages and apology in libel case


 

 

The Daily Mail will pay damages to settle a libel claim brought against it by the US first lady Melania Trump over false claims about her work as a professional model.

An agreed statement was read out to Mr Justice Nicol in court 14 of the royal courts of justice on behalf of both parties. The newspaper will pay Trump damages, but the amount was not disclosed.

The statement said the article published in a double page spread last summer included false and defamatory claims about [Mrs Trump] which questioned the nature of her work as a professional model and republished allegations that she provides services beyond simply modelling.

The statement, read out by solicitor John Kelly, of the law firm Harbottle and Lewis, added: “The article included statements that Mrs Trump denied the allegations and Paulo Zampolli, who ran the modelling agency, also denied the allegations and the article also stated that there was no evidence to support the allegations.

The article also claimed that Mr and Mrs Trump may have met three years before they actually met and staged their actual meeting as a ruse. These allegations about Mrs Trump are not true.

The original Daily Mail story was published on 20 August 2016 under the headline Racy photos and troubling questions about his wife’s past that could derail Trump.

The statement added: The allegations strike at the heart of the claimant’s personal integrity and dignity. The claimant has not acted as alleged. The suggestion that such allegations even merit investigation is deeply offensive and has caused a great deal of upset to the claimant.

Catrin Evans QC, for the Daily Mail owner Associated Newspapers, told the court that everything in the statement was accepted by the newspaper. The allegations have been retracted and withdrawn, she added.

The retraction and apology, which will be published in the Daily Mail and on its website, reads:

“The Daily Mail newspaper and the Mail Online/DailyMail.com website published an article on 20th August 2016 about Melania Trump which questioned the nature of her work as a professional model, and republished allegations that she provided services beyond simply modelling.

The article included statements that Mrs Trump denied the allegations and Paulo Zampolli, who ran the modelling agency, also denied the allegations, and the article also stated that there was no evidence to support the allegations.

The article also claimed that Mr and Mrs Trump may have met three years before they actually met, and ‘staged’ their actual meeting as a ruse.

We accept that these allegations about Mrs Trump are not true and we retract and withdraw them. We apologise to Mrs Trump for any distress that our publication caused her. To settle Mrs Trump’s two lawsuits against us, we have agreed to pay her damages and costs.