The UK Telegraph is paying Melania Trump after publishing an article with various contested allegations against the U.S. First Lady, including claims about her family, her modeling career, her university time, and her relationship with Pres. Donald Trump.
The site also unpublished the Jan. 19 article by Nina Burleigh. Burleigh, however, tweeted that hers was “accurate reporting,” that she hasn’t “been asked for money” and that she wasn’t apologizing. iMediaEthics has written to Burleigh to ask if the Telegraph consulted her before retraction; we have also contacted the Telegraph. Trump’s lawyer declined to comment to iMediaEthics on the record.
The full Jan. 26 apology reads:
“Following last Saturday’s (Jan 19) Telegraph magazine cover story “The mystery of Melania”, we have been asked to make clear that the article contained a number of false statements which we accept should not have been published. Mrs Trump’s father was not a fearsome presence and did not control the family. Mrs Trump did not leave her Design and Architecture course at University relating to the completion of an exam, as alleged in the article, but rather because she wanted to pursue a successful career as a professional model. Mrs Trump was not struggling in her modelling career before she met Mr Trump, and she did not advance in her career due to the assistance of Mr Trump.
We accept that Mrs Trump was a successful professional model in her own right before she met her husband and obtained her own modelling work without his assistance. Mrs Trump met Mr Trump in 1998, not in 1996 as stated in the article. The article also wrongly claimed that Mrs Trump’s mother, father and sister relocated to New York in 2005 to live in buildings owned by Mr Trump. They did not. The claim that Mrs Trump cried on election night is also false.
We apologise unreservedly to The First Lady and her family for any embarrassment caused by our publication of these allegations. As a mark of our regret we have agreed to pay Mrs Trump substantial damages as well as her legal costs.”