Melania Trump wins Daily Mail lawsuit

Melania Trump (Reuters)
Melania Trump (Reuters)

Britain's Daily Mail newspaper has agreed to pay Melania Trump an undisclosed sum and apologise for an article saying she provided "services beyond simply modelling" in her old job.

The US First Lady sued the newspaper in London and filed a lawsuit in New York, seeking nearly NZ$220 million dollars in damages.

The amount she settled for has not been disclosed, but UK reports suggest it was less than NZ$4 million in total, including legal fees.

"The Daily Mail newspaper and the Mail Online/ website published an article on 20th August 2016 about Melania Trump which questioned the nature of her work as a professional model, and republished allegations that she provided services beyond simply modelling," the paper's apology read.

"The article included statements that Mrs Trump denied the allegations and Paulo Zampolli, who ran the modelling agency, also denied the allegations, and the article also stated that there was no evidence to support the allegations. The article also claimed that Mr and Mrs Trump may have met three years before they actually met, and 'staged' their actual meeting as a 'ruse'. We accept that these allegations about Mrs Trump are not true and we retract and withdraw them. We apologise to Mrs Trump for any distress that our publication caused her."

Ms Trump originally claimed in the lawsuit she 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".

This led to accusations she was seeking to use her position as First Lady to make money. The wording was dropped and the suit re-filed a few weeks later.

It's not the first case she's won over this kind of accusation. In February she settled a case after a blogger said she once worked as an escort.

Ms Trump met her future husband Donald in 1998. They married in 2005.