Complaints against the Daily Mail and Maryland-based blog, Tarpley, are still pending
Last year, Melania Trump filed a $150 million defamation suit against UK-based Daily Mail and a Maryland-based blog, Tarply, for alleging the she was once employed by a modeling agency that was actually an escort service.
The Daily Mail quickly retracted their post after a complaint was filed and Tarply retracted their post once legal action was threatened.
Friday, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Sharon Burrell denied Tarply’s requests to dismiss the suit.
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. The judge also turned down Tarpley’s effort to dismiss the suit under a Maryland law aimed at quickly shutting down bad-faith lawsuits intended to intimidate people speaking out on issues of public concern.
“The court finds the plaintiff has stated a claim for defamation,” Burrell ruled after hearing arguments on the issue in a Rockville courtroom. “The court believes most people, when they hear the words ‘high-end escort’ that describes a prostitute. There could be no more defamatory statement than to call a woman a prostitute.”
However, at the conclusion of a roughly two-hour-long hearing, it was unclear whether the first lady would be allowed to proceed against another, deeper-pocketed defendant in the Maryland suit–the New York-based corporate affiliate of London’s Daily Mail newspaper. That outlet published a similar account to Tarpley’s last August.
Also revealed was that the Trump’s had filed a similar complaint against the Daily Mail in a London court.
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