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US court throws out Melania Trump libel claim over Daily Mail ‘racy past’ article

By Dominic Ponsford

A judge in a court in Maryland has dismissed US first lady Melania Trump’s libel lawsuit against the Daily Mail newspaper over an article which she said published false statements about her.

Court records show that Montgomery County Circuit Judge Sharon Burrell
yesterday dismissed the suit against Mail Media Inc, the corporation
which publishes the Daily Mail’s website, the Associated Press (AP) news
agency reported.

The Daily Mail’s argument centred on whether the lawsuit should have
been filed in Maryland and whether Mrs Trump was suing the correct
corporate entity.

Mrs Trump has also filed a claim against the paper in London.

The first lady’s libel suit against blogger Webster Tarpley of
Gaithersburg for reporting similar statements was allowed to move ahead
last week.

She filed the lawsuit in Rockville in September, after both Tarpley
and the Daily Mail issued retractions.

Papers filed in Maryland indicated she was claiming at least 75,000 US dollars (more than £50,000) from each defendant and said the Daily Mail Online had published an article referring to her “very racy past”.

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The Daily Mail had published a retraction and editors said they regretted any misinterpretation.

“The article discussed whether allegations being made about Melania Trump could negatively affect her husband Donald Trump’s presidential bid,” said the retraction.

“The article … did not intend to state or suggest that these allegations are true … To the contrary (the article) stated that there was no support for the allegations, and it provided adamant denials from Mrs Trump’s spokesperson … The point of the article was that these allegations could impact the US presidential election even if they are untrue.”

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