Melania Trump Defamation Suit Against Political Blogger Can Move Forward

Tarpley's attorney had previously argued that the blogger was within bounds of the First Amendment because he sought to provoke a "conversation" about what effect "those rumors were having on the [presidential] campaign". Trump hired Los Angeles-based attorney, Charles Harder, who has gained national fame for representing Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker to represent her. Harder said the words used by Tarpley in the post, such as it's "widely known that Melania was not a working model but rather a high end escort" amounted to statements of fact by him that were false.

A Maryland judge has ruled that First Lady Melania Trump's libel suit against a blogger who posted statements about her alleged past involvement in a "high-end escort" service will move forward, but it remains unclear whether her claims against The Daily Mail will be allowed to proceed.

"There can be no more defamatory statement than to call a woman a prostitute", Burrell said in court Friday, according to Politico. "The job of a reporter is to vet a story before it's published".

Melania Trump is suing Tarpley on her own, and is represented by private lawyers.

Tarpley's lawyers also invoked a Maryland law which shuts down lawsuits meant to intimidate people speaking out on issues of public concern. The judge also noted that Melania Trump was not the one running for office when the post was published.

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Sharon Burrell rejected arguments from lawyers for blogger Webster Tarpley to dismiss Trump's suit for failing to meet the "actual malice" standard for public figures. Mail Media argues that it wasn't responsible for publishing the article, and that even if it was, the Maryland court shouldn't hear the case because all of the parties and witnesses were from NY or elsewhere out of state. He also said there was evidence that Mail Media did business in Maryland, such as contracting with freelancers. A ruling was not made, however, concerning Trump's similar lawsuit against The Daily Mail due to ambiguities concerning whether or not the lawsuit against the publication is aimed at the correct corporate entity and the location in America it should be filed in. Tarpley's lawyer said in court on Friday that Tarpley took the article down because he feared a lawsuit, not because he didn't believe what he wrote.

Trump is also suing the British publication The Daily Mail in Montgomery County as well as London for a similar August website post in which the tabloid alluded to the possibility that Trump was involved with an escort agency in NY.

Related News: