Melania Trump’s Libel Lawsuit Against Blogger Will Move Forward

Photo: Evan Agostini/AP Images.

A judge has ruled that First Lady Melania Trump can move forward with the libel lawsuit that she filed against a blogger who suggested she had worked as a high-end escort, NBC News reports.

Trump filed suit against both the blogger, Webster Tarpley of Gaithersburg, Maryland, as well as The Daily Mail, late last year after they reported rumors about whether her modeling career had included work as an escort. 70-year-old Tarpley sought to have the suit dismissed, arguing in Montgomery County Circuit Court in Virginia on Friday that he had only reported the fact that there were rumors, not that those rumors were necessarily the truth.

“There is no dispute that there were, in fact, rumors,” his lawyer, Danielle Giroux, stated. “He did not say that Melania Trump was a high-class escort. What he said was there are rumors about that.”

But Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, was quick to shut that argument down. He told the court that “the job of a reporter is to vet it before you publish it” and citing a specific passage in Tarpley’s article where the blogger alleged that the First Lady’s prior work as an escort was “widely known.”

Judge Sharon Burrell agreed with Trump’s attorney and denied the motion to dismiss, telling representatives of both parties that “there can be no more defamatory statement than to call a woman a prostitute” before clearing the way for the suit to proceed.

A ruling was not made, however, concerning Trump’s similar lawsuit against The Daily Mail due to ambiguities concerning whether or not the lawsuit against the publication is aimed at the correct corporate entity and the location in America it should be filed in. The First Lady has also filed a lawsuit against the paper in its hometown of London.

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