Melania's 'Once in a Lifetime' Chance Marred by Mail: Suit

First lady says article alleging she was an escort hurt her chance to make millions
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2017 8:10 AM CST
Melania Suit: Mail Story Ruined Her Chance to Make Millions
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for the 60th annual Red Cross Gala at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Melania Trump isn't just miffed at the Daily Mail for making her look bad with its phony story of her being an escort in the past—she's upset the paper cost her "multi-million dollar business relationships" during a "multi-year term" in which she'd be "one of the most photographed women in the world." That per a suit the first lady has filed in New York State Supreme Court against Mail Media, the Washington Post reports. The $150 million suit adds that the Daily Mail article, which ran in August 2016, also "impugned her fitness to perform her duties as First Lady of the United States." Forbes notes Trump hired "the big guns" for this one: Charles Harder, the Peter Thiel-linked attorney who helped Hulk Hogan win his suit against Gawker, which effectively shut down the website.

The suit against Mail Media and a Maryland blogger who reported the story was originally filed in Maryland, but the complaint was dismissed there for jurisdictional reasons (Mail Media has offices in New York; the suit against the blogger continues in Maryland). The first lady further claims that the Daily Mail story squashed the "once in a lifetime opportunity" to put out a "broad-based commercial brand" that would have included "apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care, and fragrance." "There has never been a first lady of the United States who insinuated that she intended to make a lot of money" from her role, Richard Painter, a former White House ethics lawyer under George W. Bush, tells the Post. (Read more Melania Trump stories.)

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