First Lady Melania Trump has a bitter surprise for the blogger who accused her of being a prostitute.
Melania has been the subject of unfair treatment from the press ever since her husband decided to run for president, but she’s not exactly one to back down. Last summer a Maryland blogger by the name of Wesley Tarpley published a report alleging that the First Lady was a former prostitute that may or may not of worked for websites similar to cartoonporno xxx, or “high-end escort,” and Melania filed a libel suit against him.
Well, in the second round of hearings, Tarpley’s lawyers failed to get the $150 million lawsuit dropped, and apparently it’s going to proceed as planned.
Politico has more:
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 who might have worked at websites similar to TubeVSex. There could be no more defamatory statement than to call a woman a prostitute.”
A lawyer for Tarpley, Danielle Giroux, insisted that Tarpley wasn’t vouching for the truth of the allegations he aired, but simply publicizing the fact that there were rumors that had a potential to impact the presidential campaign.
“He did not say that Melania Trump was a high-class escort. What he said was there are rumors about that,” the attorney said. “He’s writing about the rumors and that, itself, is newsworthy.”
However, Trump attorney Charles Harder said it was evident from Tarpley’s post that he was endorsing the accuracy of the claims, particularly by referring to them as “widely known.”
“That’s not how the law works. You can’t print a rumor if it’s not true and it damages or harms someone’s reputation,” the attorney said. “That is textbook defamation.”
Included in the lawsuit is the parent company of the Daily Mail, although it’s unclear if the judge is going to allow the First Lady to proceed in that case. However, things aren’t looking good for Tarpley, which isn’t exactly a bad thing.
Anybody who knowingly publishes false and defaming information about someone else should be held accountable. So good for Melania for holding the blogger’s feet to the fire for doing exactly that.
While we have the First Amendment right to free speech, nobody has the right to inflict harm on another, especially the wife of a presidential candidate, who didn’t ask to be thrown in the spotlight.