Melania Trump’s libel lawsuit against The Daily Mail of Britain no longer contains a section of the complaint that faced heavy criticism for seeming to cash in on the role of first lady.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Manhattan earlier this month, claimed that a news article in the Daily Mail that said that Trump had once worked for an escort service harmed the First Lady’s existing brand and damaged her future commercial potential.
“Plaintiff [Melania Trump] had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as an extremely famous and well-known person, as well as a former professional model and brand spokesperson and successful businesswoman, to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multimillion dollar business relationships for a multiyear term during which plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world,” the lawsuit stated.
The amended lawsuit eliminated the language that seeks to quantify the economic opportunities that the First Lady may miss out on due to the Daily Mail’s article, which the tabloid published in August and has since retracted. However, the amended lawsuit, filed by Charles J. Harder, the Trump attorney who represented Hulk Hogan in an invasion of privacy suit against Gawker last year, does ask for the same amount in damages: $150 million.
As evidence of the damage to Trump’s reputation that resulted from the story in the Daily Mail, the lawsuit cites New York Times reporter Jacob Bernstein, who publicly apologized last week after model and actress Emily Ratajkowski tweeted about a remark he made at a Fashion Week party.
“As one of many examples, on February 12, 2017, New York Times journalist Jacob Bernstein stated at a business event: ‘Melania is a hooker.’ Mr. Bernstein apologized publicly only after being confronted about his statement on social media. Mail Online knew and intended, at the time it published the aforementioned defamatory statements about Plaintiff, that the statements were likely to be repeated and re-published by many others for years into the future, by people throughout the United States and the world, and including but not limited to journalists of major news organizations such as Mr. Bernstein,” the amended lawsuit states.