Judge: Melania Trump’s suit against blogger can go forward

Judge: Melania Trump's suit against blogger can go forward

ROCKVILLE, Md. — First lady Melania Trump can move ahead with a libel lawsuit she filed against a blogger who reported rumours that she worked as a high-end escort, a judge ruled Friday.

The blogger, Webster Tarpley of Gaithersburg, sought to have the lawsuit dismissed. His lawyer argued Friday in Montgomery County Circuit Court that Tarpley accurately reported in an August blog post the fact that there were rumours about whether Trump’s modeling career included work as an escort.

“There is no dispute that there were, in fact, rumours,” said his lawyer, Danielle Giroux. “He did not say that Melania Trump was a high-class escort. What he said was there are rumours about that.”

Trump’s lawyer said the rumour is false and that reporters can’t make defamatory statements under the guise of reporting rumours.

“The job of a reporter is to vet it before you publish it,” the lawyer, Charles Harder said.

He also disputed the notion that Tarpley’s article merely reported the fact that rumours were out there. He cited a passage in the article stating, “It is also widely known that Melania was not a working model but rather a high end escort.”

Judge Sharon Burrell agreed with Harder: “There can be no more defamatory statement than to call a woman a prostitute,” she said in denying the motion to dismiss.

Burrell deferred ruling on a separate motion to dismiss filed by Mail Media Inc., which is described in the lawsuit as the corporation that publishes the Daily Mail’s website. The argument over the Daily Mail’s motion centred on whether the lawsuit against them should have been filed in Maryland, and whether Trump is suing the correct corporate entity associated with the Daily Mail.

Trump also has filed a lawsuit against the paper in London.

She filed the lawsuit in Rockville in September, after both Tarpley and the Daily Mail issued retractions. She did not attend Friday’s hearing, though she did show up for an earlier pretrial hearing.

Matthew Barakat, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Update: Small fire near Maple Ridge tent city

Occured outside camp Wednesday night

Looking Back: Dec. 14, 2017

The community’s history as recorded in the files of the Langley Advance

Throwback Thursday: December 14, 2017

Can you help us caption a photo from Langley’s past?

Giants invite fans to toss teddy bears at Langley game

The annual Teddy Bear Toss takes place at this Sunday’s home game in the LEC.

Langley Christmas Fun: a listing of holiday events, Dec. 14, 2017 edition

Langley events: LangleyAdvance.com/add-event or news@langleyadvance.com (subject: Christmas Fun).

VIDEO: Carollers bring festive sounds to Langley City most Fridays

Shoppers will once again be entertained by choirs, musicians and bands this month in McBurney Plaza.

Four dog deaths investigated in Cranbrook

One vet suggests a parralel to these deaths and similar ones in 2016

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15-to-19 year-olds, including one in Vernon

Military life gives way to chance as author

Retired Chilliwack officer pens book about life in Afghanistan

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Families enjoy an Aldergrove Christmas

Santa and Mrs Claus along with Moana and other special guests made it a special day

TransLink to look into late-night SkyTrains on weekends

Review follows demand from public, mayors and police to extend services in Metro Vancouver

Most Read