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Melania Trump wins damages from Daily Mail over ‘escort’ allegation


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President Donald Trump and his wife first lady Melania Trump at the West Wing of the White House, on April 5, 2017 in Washington, DC.Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Daily Mail published allegations Mrs Trump "provided services beyond simply modelling"

The UK&;s Daily Mail newspaper has agreed to pay damages and costs to the first lady of the United States over an article about her modelling career.

The newspaper had reported allegations that Melania Trump once worked as an escort, but later retracted its article.

The story was published during the US election campaign last year.

Mrs Trump accepted damages and an apology from the newspaper at London&39;s High Court.

She filed her lawsuit in February, seeking damages of $150m (£120m). The amount accepted by Mrs Trump was not disclosed in court.

However, reports suggest the payout was closer to $3 million, including legal costs and damages.

In its apology, the Daily Mail acknowledged it had published "allegations that she provided services beyond simply modelling".

The article also claimed that Mr and Mrs Trump may have met three years before they actually did, and later "staged" their first meeting.

"We accept that these allegations about Mrs Trump are not true," the newspaper said.

A lawyer for Mrs Trump told the London court the allegations "strike at the heart of the claimant&39;s personal integrity and dignity".

Mrs Trump&39;s official White House portrait was revealed at the beginning of AprilImage copyright White House
Image caption Mrs Trump had her official portrait as first lady taken earlier in April

Her lawyer said the double-page spread, titled "Racy photos and troubling questions about his wife&39;s past that could derail Trump", featured an old nude photo of Mrs Trump from her modelling career.

"Readers of the newspaper that day could not fail to miss the article," he said.

The first lady had sued the Daily Mail newspaper in the United Kingdom, and its digital operation Mail Online in the United States.

Mrs Trump&39;s lawsuit initially said that Mrs Trump had the "unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity… 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 [she] is one of the most photographed women in the world".

Critics used the phrasing to question whether Mrs Trump had plans to make financial gains from her position as first lady.

A second version of the suit, re-filed weeks later, dropped the controversial wording.

Mrs Trump was born Melanija Knavs, in Sevnica, a small town about an hour&39;s drive from Slovenia&39;s capital of Ljubljana.

She was signed to a modelling agency in her late teens, and began flying around Europe and the US, appearing in high-profile ad campaigns.

She met Donald Trump in 1998, when she was 28 years old, at a party during New York Fashion week.

They married seven years later.

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What was Melania Trump like in Slovenia?

Media captionWhat was Melania Trump like in Slovenia?

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