British newspaper apologises to US First Lady Melania Trump for making false claims, agrees to pay damages

The Daily Telegraph has retracted its January 19 cover story which made several false claims about Melania Trump

UK based newspaper The Daily Telegraph has issued an apology to the First Lady of United States Melania Trump, and agreed to pay her “substantial damages” along with legal costs, for an article published last week.

The newspaper said that the last Saturday’s (January 19) Telegraph magazine cover story “The mystery of Melania” contained a number of false statements about Melania Trump. In a statement published in the paper yesterday, The Daily Telegraph said that they accept that they should not have published the article as it contained several false statements.

The paper states that the article wrongly claimed that Mrs Trump left her Design and Architecture court at University relating to completion of an exam, but she did so to pursue a successful career in modelling.

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The Daily Telegraph article had claimed that Melania Trump was a struggling model before she met Donald Trump, and she advanced her modelling career with the help of Mr Trump. In the apology, the paper agrees that it is a false allegation and Mrs Trump was already a successful model before meeting the current president of the USA. The statement says “we accept that Mrs Trump was a successful professional model in her own right before she met her husband and obtained her own modelling work without his assistance.”

The statement also mentioned that Melania Trump had met Donald Trump in 1998, not in 1996 as originally claimed by the paper. It also clarifies that the article wrongly claimed that Mrs Trump’s mother, father and sister relocated to New York in 2005 to live in buildings owned by Mr Trump.

The apology published by the paper further says that Mrs Trump’s father was not a fearsome presence and did not control the family, as claimed in the article published by it last week.

Due to the number of false allegations made against Mrs Trump, the paper said that they apologise unreservedly to the First Lady and her family for any embarrassment caused by their publication of these allegations. Along with this, the paper also has agreed to pay Mrs Trump substantial damages as well as her legal costs, as a mark of regret by the publication.

The Telegraph’s magazine cover story, which was published on January 19, was written by journalist Nina Burleigh, the author of the book “The Golden Handcuffs: The Secret History of Trump’s Women”.

In April 2017, the British tabloid Daily Mail had apologised to Melania Trump and paid damages for an article published by it. The article published in August 2016 had questioned the nature of her work as a model, and made allegations that she provided services beyond simply modelling. The First Lady was paid $2.9 million in damages.


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