An out-of-court settlement was reached in a libel lawsuit filed by first lady Melania Trump over an article in a magazine published in her home country that claimed she worked as a paid escort during an international modeling career that pre-dated her marriage to President Donald Trump.
The Slovenian magazine, the Suzy, said it has apologized and is giving her financial compensation to settle the case.
The first lady’s Slovenian lawyer, Natasa Pirc Musar, confirmed that the settlement was reached last week but did not disclose details, the Associated Press reported:
The magazine said it published an article in August 2016 in which it said Trump in the past worked for a fashion agency that also offered an “elite escort” service besides modeling.
It said the article “was understood as if Melania Trump conducted the escort job. We have no proof for that. So we apologize. We had no intention to hurt and offend Mrs. Trump.”
The first lady’s attorney said the settlement was vindication and proof that Trump will not put up with fake news about her professional or personal life.
“The fact that the case is closed is a proof that even in the future Mrs. Trump will not allow insults and lies on her account and will always react to protect her rights and interests,” Pirc Musar said.
The first lady, now 47, left in her home country in her 20s to pursue a modeling career, and she met Donald Trump at a Fashion Week party in New York in 1998, according to AP.
The apology made it clear the Suzy had no proof the first lady was involved in an alleged escort service, the Western Journal reported.
The first lady’s modeling career was used in partisan attacks against her during the 2016 election, including reports on the publication of photos in which she was scantily clad, the Journal reported.
The New York Post published the controversial images and then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign responded.
“Melania was one of the most successful models, and she did many photo shoots, including for covers and major magazines,” Trump’s campaign said.