The court decided that the article published in the newspaper and online ‘included false and defamatory claims’ about Mrs. Trump’s work as a model.
The Daily Mail and MailOnline’s publishers will pay damages to Melania Trump over untruthful statements they made concerning her work as a professional model. They will also publish a retraction along with an apology to the First Lady.
A statement on behalf of both parties, was read out at the Royal Courts of Justice.
It stated that the article, which was published last summer in a double spread, included “false and defamatory claims about [Mrs. Trump] which questioned the nature of her work as a professional model and republished allegations that she provides services beyond simply modelling”.
Adding: “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’. These allegations about Mrs. Trump are not true.”
John Kelly, of the law firm Harbottle & Lewis, who read the statement stated that the claims about Mrs. Trump were not true, and “strike at the heart of the claimant’s personal integrity and dignity”.
“The defendant acknowledges that these claims about the claimant are untrue, and we retract and withdraw them,” Catrin Evans QC, for the publishers, Associated Newspapers told the judge. “The defendant is here today publicly to set the record straight, and to apologize to the claimant for any distress and embarrassment that the articles may have caused her.”
Associated Newspapers have agreed to pay less than $3m in damages and legal fees to Mrs. Trump, but the exact amount the newspaper will pay in damages was not disclosed in court.
The Daily Mail and MailOnline will publish a retraction, which reads:
“The Daily Mail newspaper and the Mail Online/DailyMail.com 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 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. To settle Mrs Trump’s two lawsuits against us, we have agreed to pay her damages and costs.”