Melania Trump re-files Daily Mail lawsuit without controversial wording
- 23 February 2017
- From the section US & Canada
Lawyers for US First Lady Melania Trump have re-filed a defamation case against UK newspaper Daily Mail.
The new complaint drops wording that said Mrs Trump missed a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to profit from her brand, due to a Daily Mail article.
The initial complaint had led critics to question if she intended to gain financially from being first lady.
The Daily Mail had reported allegations that she once worked as an escort, but later retracted its article.
Mrs Trump is still seeking damages of $150m (£120m).
The suit initially said that Mrs Trump had the "unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity... to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which [she] is one of the most photographed women in the world".
The products categories would have included apparel, accessories, shoes, jewellery, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and fragrance, it added.
After criticism, her lawyer, Charles Harder, denied to US media that Mrs Trump had plans to profit from her high-profile status as first lady.
"It is not a possibility. Any statements to the contrary are being misinterpreted," a statement said.
The new version of the complaint, filled in New York on Friday, focused on the emotional distress of the Daily Mail report.
"[The] false and defamatory statements about [Mrs Trump] have caused tremendous harm to [her] personal and professional reputation and prospective economic opportunities, as well as causing her significant humiliation and emotional distress," it said.
In its retraction of the 20 August article, the Daily Mail had said it "did not intend to state or suggest that these allegations are true, nor did it intend to state or suggest that Mrs Trump ever worked as an 'escort' or in the 'sex business'."
Mrs Trump had also sued a US blogger, Webster Tarpley, for making similar allegations to the Daily Mail. The case was settled after he issued an apology and agreed to pay a "substantial sum as a settlement", her lawyers said.
Earlier this month, a reporter from the New York Times was reprimanded by the paper for referring to Mrs Trump as a "hooker". He later apologised, saying the remark was based on "unfounded rumours".