We all know that Donald Trump is a big fan of suing people. He’s said so over and over. He’s also fantasized about suing the New York Times and Washington Post for saying bad things about him. Apparently, Melania Trump is living out this dream for her septuagenarian spouse. She’s suing the UK Daily Mail.
Melania Trump has started legal action against the Daily Mail and other outlets for what she claims is a defamatory article about her past.
Charles Harder, an attorney for Trump, said in an email that the legal action goes beyond just the Daily Mail and is not limited to the United Kingdom, where the Daily Mail is headquartered.
“Mrs. Trump has placed several news organizations on notice of her legal claims against them, including Daily Mail among others, for making false and defamatory statements about her supposedly having been an “escort” in the 1990s,” Harder said in an email. “All such statements are 100% false, highly damaging to her reputation, and personally hurtful. She understands that news media have certain leeway in a presidential campaign, but outright lying about her in this way exceeds all bounds of appropriate news reporting and human decency.”
What exactly has the Trump clan so exercised?
But the rumour mill does not stop whirring there. Earlier this month, a Slovenian magazine, Suzy, published a front page story claiming Melania’s modelling agency in New York, run by New York entrepreneur, Paolo Zampolli, also operated as an escort agency for wealthy clients.
‘On the one hand they [the girls] pretended to be models, but they principally earned money as elite escorts,’ the magazine article claimed. ‘They even had two composite cards (presentation cards held by each model) — with two photos and basic information such as measurements, eye and hair colour, and agency details.
‘One composite card was for the modelling business, and the other one for the sex business, as it stated whether they prefer the older men and described their abilities in the bedroom.’
The article added: ‘What Melania’s [composite card] looked like only the people involved know, but it is no coincidence she got a rich husband.’
This week the Mail spoke to the author of the piece, under the condition of anonymity. He insisted the seemingly fantastical story was correct, but all he would say to corroborate it was the information came from sources in America.
Mr Zampolli, however, was very clear. He told the Mail the allegations were ‘f****** rubbish’. ‘My agency was never an escort agency . . . come on,’ he said.
A couple of US outlets ran the story as truth and have printed retractions. The one from Inquisitr.com is here. The leftwing Bipartisanreport.com has one of the most unretracted retractions ever.
I have to admit that I’m not really sure what the Trumpian cause of action is here. The Daily Mail goes out of its way to caveat the hell out of the story and it seems to me that the real story now is why is Melania Trump suing a largish international, English language newspaper/website for printing commentary on something that appeared in a Slovenian magazine that, as far as I can can tell, doesn’t even have a web presence? But Trump wins so much he’s just tired of winning.
There is no reason to think that Melania Trump worked as an escort even though the evidence indicates she did work illegally in the United States and she may have entered into a sham marriage in order to get a green card (I say “sham” because she seems to have received a spousal visa four years before marrying Trump and there is no official accounting of her earlier marriage).
In a perfect world, non-political spouses and children would be left out of the partisan scrum of an election. It was, however, Donald Trump’s own party, the Democrats, that weaponized spousal biographies and rumors. Taking shots at Laura Bush and the Bush twins was a team sport among Democrats while George Bush was president. And while I have some sympathy for Melania in this, I have to ask, where the hell was she when the elderly loser she married was, true to that tradition, attacking Heidi Cruz, and accusing Ted Cruz of adultery, and claiming that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK assassination.
This is karma come calling and I’m buying popcorn. Lots of popcorn.