>> It's so dishonest. These newspapers, the media folks, they are so dishonest. There's nothing so dishonest.>> Attacking the media is a mainstay of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and it appears to run in the family. Politico reporting his wife Melania has started legal action against the Daily Mail, alleging defamation.
The UK website ran an article last week reporting on tawdry claims about Melania's background published elsewhere, including in a Slovenian gossip magazine. And an e-book available on Amazon.com, suggesting the former model worked for a high-end escort service early on when she arrived in the US. Here's a funny twist.
Melania's lawyer in the case is Charles Harder. He represented former wrestler Terry Bollea, AKA Hulk Hogan, in a defamation suit against gossip site Gawker over a sex tape. That lawsuit put Gawker into bankruptcy. Hogan's legal fees were paid for by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, a Trump supporter who spoke at the Republican National Convention.
Now, the same lawyer is representing Melania and her claim against the Daily Mail. An e-mail from Harder to Politico says, quote, Mrs. Trump has placed several news organizations on notice of her legal claims against them, including the Daily Mail among others, for making false and defamatory statements about her supposedly having been an escort in the 1990s.
Defamation lawsuits are far more common in the UK than in the US. British libel laws are much more favorable to someone claiming damage to his or her reputation. American publications are protected from many such lawsuits by the First Amendment. Donald Trump has said he would like to open up America's libel laws if he is elected President to make it easier to sue news organizations.