I noticed that Melania refiled her libel lawsuit yesterday against the Daily Mail for reporting that she worked as an escort in the 1990s. The Daily Mail sourced this story to a Slovenian magazine and has since retracted the story, but the suit is moving forward. I understand the need to place a check on libelous statements by the media, but the standard here is high. As a public figure, Melania would need to demonstrate both that The Daily Mail knew the story was false and that they proceeded to publication with malice towards her. If they reasonably thought the story was credible and proceeded to press without malice, she doesn’t have much of a case.
Aside from that, though, the thing that gets me is her reason for the suit.
[Melania] had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person, as well as a former professional model and brand spokesperson, and successful businesswoman, to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which Plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world.
To translate the legalese, Melania is upset that the stories, since retracted, will harm her ability to monetize her time as FirstLady. That’s worth repeating. She’s mad she can’t make a profit off of being First Lady. Who are you people?
Public service isn’t about making a buck off of your position. It was offensive when Ivanka tried to peddle jewelry after a 60 Minutes interview. Now using a potential loss of profit as the basis for a lawsuit against a news outlet who has not been proven to have acted recklessly can be chilling. Does your family plan on suing every outlet that publishes a negative story because it might hurt your ability to make a buck off the backs of the American people? It’s just offensive.