Melania Trump re-files Daily Mail lawsuit without controversial wording

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Lawyers for U.S. First Lady Melania Trump have re-filed a defamation case against UK newspaper Daily Mail.

The new complaint drops wording that said 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.

She is still seeking damages of $150 million (£120 million).

“The suit initially said that Melania 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 Melania 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 Melania 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 Melania ever worked as an escort or in the ‘sex business.

She had also sued a US blogger, Wester 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 Melania as a hooker.  He later apologised, saying the remark was based on unfounded rumours.

Source: BBC