LONDON — Britain's Daily Mail tabloid said Friday in its print edition that it did not mean to suggest that allegations that Melania Trump, the wife of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, had worked as an escort in the 1990s were true.
On Thursday, lawyers for Trump filed a lawsuit in a court in Maryland against the Daily Mail and the blogger Webster Tarpley, over what they said were defamatory stories about her past.
Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, said the two have made statements that are “100 percent false” and “tremendously damaging,” according to the BBC. “Defendants' actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs Trump that her damages are estimated at $150m," he said in a statement.
Harder represented wrestler Hulk Hogan in his successful lawsuit against Gawker, which recently shut down.
The Daily Mail published a retraction of the story late Thursday and included it in its Friday print edition in Britain.
The retraction was related to an article published last month in the British newspaper and on its website. On its website, it was titled: “Naked photoshoots, and troubling questions about visas that won't go away: The VERY racy past of Donald Trump's Slovenian wife.” The story has since been taken down.
The Mail story cited a Slovenian magazine called Suzy that claimed a modeling agency where Melania Trump had worked in the past had also operated as a high-end escort agency.
In its statement, the Daily Mail said that it did not “intend to state or suggest that Mrs. Trump ever worked as an 'escort' or in the 'sex business.'
“To the contrary, The Daily Mail newspaper article stated that there was no support for the allegations, and it provided adamant denials from Mrs. Trump's spokesperson and from Mr. Zampolli,” the paper said, referring to Paolo Zampolli, who headed the modeling agency where Melania Trump previously worked.
It further wrote: “To the extent that anything in the Daily Mail's article was interpreted as stating or suggesting that Mrs. Trump worked as an 'escort' or in the 'sex business,' that she had a 'composite or presentation card for the sex business,' or that either of the modeling agencies referenced in the article were engaged in these businesses, it is hereby retracted, and the Daily Mail newspaper regrets any such misinterpretation.”