British newspaper the Telegraph has agreed to pay First Lady Melania Trump “substantial damages” and her legal costs after running an article last Saturday filled with “false statements.”
“We apologise unreservedly to The First Lady and her family for any embarrassment caused by our publication of these allegations,” The Telegraph wrote.
In an official apology to Trump, the paper laid out the numerous false statements published in its previous magazine cover story, titled “The Mystery of Melania.” Among the incorrect claims published in the article were suggestions that Trump’s father controlled the family with a “fearsome presence” and that the former model only became successful after she met now-President Donald Trump, who assisted her in her career.
“Following last Saturday’s (Jan 19) Telegraph magazine cover story “The mystery of Melania”, we have been asked to make clear that the article contained a number of false statements which we accept should not have been published. Mrs Trump’s father was not a fearsome presence and did not control the family. Mrs Trump did not leave her Design and Architecture course at University relating to the completion of an exam, as alleged in the article, but rather because she wanted to pursue a successful career as a professional model. Mrs Trump was not struggling in her modelling career before she met Mr Trump, and she did not advance in her career due to the assistance of Mr Trump,” The Telegraph wrote.
The newspaper also got some basic facts about the Trump’s relationship wrong, writing originally that the couple met in 1996, when they actually met in 1998. The paper also claimed Melania’s mother, father, and sister moved to New York in 2005 and lived in properties owned by Donald. Further, The Telegraph claimed Melania cried on election night, which she didn’t.
“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. Mrs Trump met Mr Trump in 1998, not in 1996 as stated in the article. The article also wrongly claimed that Mrs Trump’s mother, father and sister relocated to New York in 2005 to live in buildings owned by Mr Trump. They did not. The claim that Mrs Trump cried on election night is also false.
Stephanie Grisham, Melania’s communications director, told CNN that the first lady “will not sit by as people and media outlets make up lies and false assertions in a race for ratings or to sell tabloid headlines," the paper wrote.
Melania was also awarded $2.9 million from the Daily Mail after the paper made false claims about her past as a model. The Mail had claimed Melania’s modeling agency also acted as an escort service.
"We accept that these allegations about Mrs. Trump are not true and we retract and withdraw them. We apologize to Mrs. Trump for any distress that our publication caused her," the Mail said at the time.
The Telegraphy included in its apology a promise “to pay Mrs Trump substantial damages as well as her legal costs.”