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Melania Trump is preparing legal action against the Daily Mail following an article that alleged she once worked as an escort, and she is doing so using the same lawyer who helped take down Gawker for Hulk Hogan, Politico and The Huffington Post's Michael Calderone report.
"Mrs. Trump has placed several news organizations on notice of her legal claims against them, including Daily Mail among others, for making false and defamatory statements about her supposedly having been an 'escort' in the 1990s. All such statements are 100 percent false, highly damaging to her reputation, and personally hurtful. She understands that news media have certain leeway in a presidential campaign, but outright lying about her in this way exceeds all bounds of appropriate news reporting and human decency," the attorney, Charles Harder, said in an email to Politico.
"Charles is very well-known in the right of publicity space,” a former employee of Harder's told Forbes. "That's his wheelhouse. If I came across a right of publicity issue, he's the first person I'd call." Harder has reportedly worked with Sandra Bullock, Clint Eastwood, and Julia Roberts as well.
Critics of the Gawker trial have cautioned about its implications, claiming the Hulk Hogan lawsuit, which ultimately took down Gawker and was bankrolled by venture capital investor Peter Thiel, is "a blueprint" for billionaires on "how to silence media outlets they dislike," Forbes writes.
The legal action pursued by Melania Trump reportedly goes beyond the Daily Mail and traverses U.K. borders.