Trump attorney Charles Harder confirmed the “notice of her legal claims” against “several news organizations.”
iMediaEthics asked Harder which outlets have been sent complaints. He told us, Daily Mail, Inquisitr, Tarpley, Before It’s News, Politico, LiberalAmerica.org, LawNewz, WinningDemocrats.com, BipartisanReport.com, The Week, Gopocalypse, and Groopspeak.
“This law firm is litigation counsel for Melania Trump.,” Harder said in a statement sent to media outlets including iMediaEthics. “Mrs. Trump has placed several news organizations on notice of her legal claims against them, including Daily Mail among others, for making false and defamatory statements about her supposedly having been an ‘escort’ in the 1990s. All such statements are 100% false, highly damaging to her reputation, and personally hurtful. She understands that news media have certain leeway in a presidential campaign, but outright lying about her in this way exceeds all bounds of appropriate news reporting and human decency.”
Harder noted that LiberalAmerica.org published his complaint letter.
The site published an apology after receiving his legal letter, but criticized the Trumps for taking action. “This is being written under duress because I don’t have enough money to fight a legal battle against the Trump machine,” LiberalAmerica.org wrote.
The site said it based its report on “reputable sources” and that it thinks Trump is a public figure. “Libel is almost impossible to prove, but she and her husband have unlimited financial resources and I don’t, so I have no choice but to write this mea culpa.”
The site also published the letter it received from Harder, which complains over statements that Melania Trump “was a sex worker,” “worked as an escort,” had a composite card featuring “her sexual skills in the bedroom,” and that her modeling agency was allegedly “a front for an escort service.”
Harder said Trump “never worked as an escort or a sex worker,” that she only had a composite card for modeling, and that her former agency denies running “a sex business.”
iMediaEthics has also contacted the Daily Mail and the Trump presidential campaign for comment.
The Daily Mail‘s Aug. 19 article was headlined, “Naked photoshoots, and troubling questions about visas that won’t go away: The VERY racy past of Donald Trump’s Slovenian wife.”
The story reports on a book by Slovenian journalist Bojan Pozar who said Donald and Melania Trump didn’t meet at the Kit Kat Club in 1998, but actually in 1995 . The Mail also reported that Melania Trump’s modeling agency “also operated as an escort agency for wealthy clients.”
UK press regulator IPSO told iMediaEthics by e-mail it hasn’t received any complaints from the Trumps.
UPDATED: 8/23/2016 12:13 PM EST With response from Harder and IPSO