US: Melania Trump sues Daily Mail and blogger for $150m over sex worker claims
Sept.2, Washington: Melania Trump is suing a British newspaper and a US blogger for $150m (£114m) over allegations she was a sex worker in the 1990s, according to her lawyer.
The Daily Mail suggested Mrs Trump may have worked as a part-time escort in New York, and met husband Donald Trump, who is now running for the White House, earlier than previously reported.
The claims were "outright lying", lawyer Charles Harder said. Both the blogger and the Daily Mail have since retracted their articles.
Harder said in a statement that: "These defendants made several statements about Mrs Trump that are 100% false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation."
The statement further said: "Defendants' actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs Trump that her damages are estimated at $150 million dollars."
Mrs Trump, 46, was born in Slovenia and moved to the US to work as a model in the 1990s. She married Mr Trump in 2005.
Blogger Webster Tarpley wrote that Mrs Trump feared her past becoming public, BBC reported.
The article on the Daily Mail's website quoted claims published in Slovenian magazine Suzy that the modelling agency Mrs Trump was working for also functioned as an escort agency, court papers show.
The newspaper also quoted Slovenian journalist Bojan Pozar, author of an unauthorised biography, who claimed Mrs Trump had posed for nude photos in New York in 1995 and alleged that she had met Mr Trump that year, three years before their reported first meeting in 1998.
Her lawyers say she moved to the US in 1996. Mr Tarpley meanwhile alleged that Mrs Trump was "reportedly obsessed by fear of salacious revelations by wealthy clients from her time as a high-end escort" and had suffered a "full-blown nervous breakdown".
The Daily Mail's retraction, published late on Thursday, insisted it had not suggested the sex work claims were true but said that, even if false, they could affect the US presidential campaign.
The Oslo Times International News Network