The Daily Mail has retracted a story about the “racy” past of Donald Trump’s wife after being hit with a $150m lawsuit.
Melania Trump has sued the publisher in the US after the story from the UK print edition of the Daily Mail appeared on its US-facing website DailyMail.com.
The Daily Mail has taken down the story published on 20 August which was headlined: “‘Racy photos, and troubling questions about his wife’s past that could derail Trump.”
And it has also published a retraction stating: “Among other things, the article noted that allegations have been made in a book available on Amazon about a modeling agency where Mrs Trump worked in Milan…”
The retraction added that the piece “did not intend to state or suggest that these allegations are true, nor did it intend to state or suggest that Mrs. Trump ever worked as an ‘escort’ or in the ‘sex business.'”
It said: “The point of the article was that these allegations could impact the US presidential election even if they are untrue.”
The Daily Mail said the article was “retracted, and the Daily Mail newspaper regrets any such misinterpretation.”
The article adds: “The Daily Mail newspaper and MailOnline/DailyMail.com have entirely separate editors and journalistic teams.
“In so far as MailOnline/DailyMail.com published the same article it wholeheartedly also retracts the above and also regrets any such misinterpretation.”
Mrs Trump put the Mail on notice that she planned to sue the title on 23 August.
The lawsuit has been filed in Maryland by Charles Harder, who represented Hulk Hogan in his successful $140m lawsuit against Gawker which resulted in the site being closed down. Mrs Trump is also suing US-based blog Tarpley.
Harder said in a statement: “These defendants made several statements about Mrs. Trump that are 100 per cent false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation.
“Defendants broadcast their lies to millions of people throughout the U.S. and the world—without any justification.
“Their many lies include, among others, that Mrs. Trump supposedly was an ‘escort’ in the 1990s before she met her husband. Defendants’ actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs. Trump that her damages are estimated at $150 million.”
Harder told CNN that Melania Trump would proceed with the lawsuit despite The Daily Mail’s retraction