Judge: Melania Trump's suit against blogger can go forward

First lady Melania Trump can move ahead with a libel lawsuit she filed against a blogger who reported rumours that she worked as a high-end escort.

Published: 28th January 2017 03:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2017 03:59 AM   |  A+A-


US First lady Melania Trump, along with her husband and country's President Donald Trump. | AP

By Associated Press

ROCKVILLE: First lady Melania Trump can move ahead with a libel lawsuit she filed against a blogger who reported rumours that she worked as a high-end escort, a judge ruled Friday.

The blogger, Webster Tarpley of Gaithersburg, sought to have the lawsuit dismissed. His lawyer argued Friday in Montgomery County Circuit Court that Tarpley accurately reported in an August blog post the fact that there were rumours about whether Trump's modelling career included work as an escort.

"There is no dispute that there were, in fact, rumours," said his lawyer, Danielle Giroux. "He did not say that Melania Trump was a high-class escort. What he said was there are rumours about that."

Trump's lawyer said the rumour is false and that reporters can't make defamatory statements under the guise of reporting rumours.

"The job of a reporter is to vet it before you publish it," the lawyer, Charles Harder said.

He also disputed the notion that Tarpley's article merely reported the fact that rumours were out there. He cited a passage in the article stating, "It is also widely known that Melania was not a working model but rather a high-end escort."

Judge Sharon Burrell agreed with Harder: "There can be no more defamatory statement than to call a woman a prostitute," she said in denying the motion to dismiss.

Burrell deferred ruling on a separate motion to dismiss filed by Mail Media Inc., which is described in the lawsuit as the corporation that publishes the Daily Mail's website. The argument over the Daily Mail's motion centred on whether the lawsuit against them should have been filed in Maryland, and whether Trump is suing the correct corporate entity associated with the Daily Mail.

Trump also has filed a lawsuit against the paper in London.

She filed the lawsuit in Rockville in September, after both Tarpley and the Daily Mail issued retractions. She did not attend Friday's hearing, though she did show up for an earlier pretrial hearing.

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp