Melania Trump To Move Forward With $150M Lawsuit Against Blogger
First Lady Melania Trump will be able to continue ahead with her lawsuit against blogger Webster Tarpley, who reported on rumors that she had worked as a “high-end escort”.
A circuit court in Maryland found that even though Tarpley hadn’t explicitly claimed she had worked as an escort, he was still responsible given the lack of fact-checking and vetting which are considered part of basic journalistic standards.
"The court finds the plaintiff has stated a claim for defamation," ruled Judge Sharon Burrell, finding in favor of Trump and allowing the $150 million defamation suit to go ahead.
Trump is also hoping to file a suit against Mail Media, the U.S.-based affiliate of British tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail, which also reported the claims.
Mail Media’s attorney argued that Maryland was the wrong forum for the suit, and that a suit had already been filed against the Daily Mail in London, where libel laws are arguably harsher towards journalistic publications.
The judge has not yet ruled on the case against Mail Media, but halted discovery on the case, indicating she is likely to dismiss it.
Trump filed her claims in September, despite both the Daily Mail and Tarpley issued retractions.