Melania Trump, a Disney princess who married a cartoon villain, is re-filing a libel suit against The Daily Mail for publishing a story that contained unproven allegations that she once worked as an escort. In it, she seeks at least $150 million in damages and claims that The Daily Mail’s now-retracted piece cost her millions upon millions in brand opportunities as she is “one of the most photographed women in the world” and had a “unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to launch a brand.
As ThinkProgress points out, the suit blatantly reveals “her intention to leverage the presidency” into a money-making enterprise, much in the same way Donald Trump has been milking the presidency to grow his brand. Trump has doubled the membership fee to his Mar-A-Lago estate, which he has dubbed “The Winter White House,” and plans to triple the number of Trump hotels around the world.
According to Melania’s lawsuit, she is potentially closed off from “licensing, branding, and endorsement” deals in “apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care, and fragrance.”
But if Melania is really worried about the rapid decline of the Trump brand, maybe should focus more on the fact that her husband is signing executive orders that ban Muslims and is stumbling around the White House in the dark.
Update 12:40 pm: Melania has also reached a settlement with 70-year-old Maryland blogger Webster Griffin Tarpley, who she named in her initial joint libel lawsuit in September for publishing similar allegations. Trump’s lawyers told BuzzFeed that Tarpley has “agreed to pay her a substantial sum as a settlement,” but did not disclose the amount. Tarpley had issued an apology and a retraction in August, before the lawsuit.