Melania Trump wins $2.9 million in damages from Daily Mail, gets apology

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First lady Melania Trump settled defamation lawsuits she had filed against the tabloid and online editions of the Daily Mail, one of her attorneys said Wednesday, effectively ending litigation that had roots in Montgomery County just north of Washington.

The Daily Mail agreed to pay unspecified damages to Melania Trump, said the lawyer, Charles Harder. The first lady had previously settled similar claims against Webster Tarpley, a blogger who operates out of his townhouse in Gaithersburg, Md.

It was Tarpley’s residence in Montgomery County that prompted Trump’s attorneys to file many of their claims in Montgomery County. Trump arrived in person at a pretrial hearing in December for her case.

Her surprise visit on a Monday morning sent buzz racing through the Montgomery Circuit Courthouse in Rockville, as did the anticipation that she could be squaring off in a lengthy defamation trial sometime in 2017. But that will not be happening, and all claims in the matter appear to have been settled in payments, retractions and apologies to Trump.

Melania Trump sued him on Sept. 1. At the time, her attorneys also named as defendants the online Daily Mail, which published a similar article in August.

In court filings, Trump’s attorneys argued that while the Daily Mail print edition was published in the United Kingdom, its online edition was published in New York and — since it had readers in Maryland — it could be sued in Montgomery County. Montgomery Circuit Judge Sharon Burrell rejected that argument, so Trump’s attorneys refiled their lawsuit against the online Daily Mail in New York.

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