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Melania Trump files $150 million libel suit against Daily Mail

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NEW YORK — Melania Trump has filed a $150 million lawsuit against The Daily Mail and Tarpley, a U.S.-based blog, claiming that the two outlets made false and defamatory statements about her involvement in an escort service.

“These defendants made several statements about Mrs. Trump that are 100% false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation,” Charles Harder, a lawyer for Melania Trump — Donald Trump‘s wife — said in a statement. The suit was filed in state court in Montgomery County, Maryland.

“Defendants broadcast their lies to millions of people throughout the U.S. and the world—without any justification,” Harder continued. “Their many lies include, among others, that Mrs. Trump supposedly was an ‘escort’ in the 1990s before she met her husband. Defendants’ actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs. Trump that her damages are estimated at $150 million dollars.”

Melania Trump had last week placed The Daily Mail, Tarpley and other news organizations on notice for what she and her attorney said were false and defamatory statements in reports about both her employment and immigration history.

Those notices were sent 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, including Tarpley.

Harder, who also represented Hulk Hogan in his successful defamation suit against Gawker Media, confirmed at the time that the notices should be interpreted as a threat to sue.