03 Feb MELANIA TRUMP’S US LIBEL CLAIM CAN GO AHEAD
We reported in the recent Winter edition of zoom-in magazine that US First Lady Melania Trump is suing both a blogger and the Daily Mail in Maryland over articles which reported that there were rumours that Mrs Trump had in the past acted as an escort – allegations which Mrs Trump says are false and damaging to her personal and professional reputation.
Last week the court ruled that the case against the blogger, Webster Tarpley, can proceed. It made no decision on the case against the Daily Mail.
Judge Sharon Burrell denied a motion to dismiss the case against Tarpley, saying: ‘There can be no more defamatory statement than to call a woman a prostitute’.
The Judge deferred a decision on the case against Mail Media Inc who are cited in the action as the publishers of the Daily Mail in the US. The argument on that relates to whether that case should be heard in Maryland or another state such as New York, and whether in suing Mail Media Inc Mrs Trump is suing the right entity. Libel laws differ across states in the US, so the state in which the case is heard can be important.
Mrs Trump is represented by Charles Harder, the lawyer who also represented Hulk Hogan in his privacy case against Gawker, which ultimately led to its demise. Mrs Trump is also separately reported to be suing the Daily Mail in London.