Melania Trump settles libel suit against blogger for 'substantial sum'

Attorneys for Melania Trump say she has settled her lawsuit against Maryland blogger Webster Tarpley, who has issued an apology and agreed to pay the First Lady a "substantial sum."

In August, Tarpley wrote that Trump suffered a "breakdown" after she was accused of plagiarizing portions of her convention speech from former First Lady Michelle Obama.

In response, Trump jointly sued Tarpley and the Daily Mail, which published an article claiming that she worked for an escort service in the 1990s before she met Donald Trump.

"I posted an article on August 2, 2016 about Melania Trump that was replete with false and defamatory statements about her," Tarpley said, according to Trump's lawyer, Charles J. Harder. "I had no legitimate factual basis to make these false statements and I fully retract them. I acknowledge that these false statements were very harmful and hurtful to Mrs. Trump and her family, and therefore I sincerely apologize to Mrs. Trump, her son, her husband and her parents for making these false statements."

In September, The Daily Mail published a lengthy retraction of its article in response to Trump's lawsuit.

Today's settlement notches another victory for Harder, a Los Angeles-based attorney who sued Gawker Media for millions on behalf of Hulk Hogan. That lawsuit was bankrolled by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who called the company "unique and incredibly damaging."

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    Benjamin Mullin

    Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics.


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