Melania Trump complaint

PM 3:55

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND

MELANIA TRUMP
725 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10022

Plaintiff,
V.

WEBSTER GRIFFIN TARPLEY
115 Goucher Terrace
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20871

and

MAIL MEDIA, INC. d/b/a MAIL ONLINE
42 Greene Street, Fourth Floor
New York, New York 10013

SERVE:
Maryland State Department of
Assessments and Taxation

. 301 W.-Preston St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

gg?. Defendants.

Case No.

COMPLAINT

2; Plaintiff, Melania Trump, by and through counsel, brings this action against Defendants

Webster Griffin Taipley and Mail Media, Inc. d/b/a Mail Online.

PARTIES

1. Plaintiff is an individual residing in New York, New York.

2. On information and belief, Defendant Webster Grif?n Tarpley (?Tarpley?) is an

individual residing in Gaithersburg, Maryland who operates Taipleynet, a weblog on the

Internet.

3. On information and belief, Defendant Mail Media, Inc. d/b/a Mail Online (?Daily
Mail?) is a Delaware corporation, with its principal place of business in New York, New York,
that manages, operates and/or publishes dailymail.co.uk, a news website. Daily Mail has United
- States web traf?c of nearly 2 million Visitors each day. .

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

4. This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to Md. Code Ann, Courts
and Judicial Proceedings 6-102 because Tarpley is domiciled in Montgomery County,
Maryland. This Court also has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to Md. Code Ann, Courts
and Judicial Proceedings 6-103 based upon the transaction of business in the State of Maryland
by Tarpley and Daily Mail.

5. Venue in this Court is appropriate pursuant to Md. Code Ann, Courts and Judicial
Proceedings 6-201 because Tarpley resides in Montgomery County, Maryland.

COUNT I
(Libel Against Tarpley)

6. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1 through 5 as though
fully set forth herein.
7. On August 2, 2016, Tarpley published a blog post entitled ?Where Is Melania
Trump? on tarpley.net (the ?Tarpley Post?).
8. The Tarpley Post contains the following false and defamatory statements:
a. ?Rumors Swirl in Manhattan That Ms. Trump ls Having an Apoplectic Fit
After Plagiarism Incident at GOP Convention and Is Refusing to Return to Campaign
Trail, Putting Enormous Strain on Trump Operation;?
b. ?Ms. Trump Reportedly Obsessed by Fear of Salacious Revelations by

Wealthy Clients from Her Time as a High?End Escort,?

c. ?It is also widely known that Melania was not a working model but rather
a high end escort.?

d. ?But now, two wives of wealthy business associates of the GOP nominee
have reportedly been overheard during this past weekend as saying that Melania is in a
state of apoplectic tantrum, and is suffering from a full-blown nervous breakdown.?

e. ?She may also be contemplating ?ight, according to these uncon?rmed
reports coming from a well-informed source.?

f. ?It is speculated that Trump will attempt to hide Melania?s mental
breakdown and rejection of campaigning from the media and the public for as long as
possible.?

g. I ?Melania?s condition is already compounding Trump?s stress during the
arduous presidential campaign.?

h. ?According to this report, Melania Trump is terri?ed about possible
revelations involving her past activities, which are widely known to fellow Manhattan
insiders, but are largely concealed from the general public.?

i. ?It is alleged that Melania did not work with any regularity as a model,
much less a supermodel, before she knew Trump, but was described by the sources as a
high end escort.?

j. ?Melania is said to be most afraid that some of her former clients will now
come forward and implicate her as a luxury escort.?

k. ?Fear of embarrassing revelations is reported to be felt by both Trumps.?

l. ?The rapper 50 Cent has also made critical observations about Ms.

Trump?s past as a ?porn star.m

m. ?Certain Twitter feeds have also discussed Melania as a professional

service provider.

11. ?As part of the atmospherics of Melania?s reported mental breakdown, the

Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post has chosen to publish nude photos of Melania for

two separate issues in recent days.?

9. The statements of fact in the Tarpley Blog Post are false. Plaintiff did legitimate
and legal modeling work for legitimate business entities. Plaintiff was not an escort or prostitute.
Plaintiff did not have an apoplectic flt, apoplectic tantrum, nervous breakdoivn or mental
breakdown, nor is she terrified or obsessed by fear about revelations from her past. Finally,
Plaintiff never refused to return to the campaign trail or contemplated flight.

10. The defamatory statements made in the Tarpley Blog Post were of and concerning
Plaintiff, and were attacks on her reputation which discouraged members of the public from
having a positive opinion of her.

11. On information and belief, Tarpley published?the Tarpley Blog Post while
consciously doubting the truth of the claims in the article and thus acted with actual malice.

12. The defamatory statements in the Tarpley Blog Post were not privileged.

13. On or about August 21, 2016, Plaintiff, through counsel, sought a retraction and
apology from Tarpley. On or about August 22, 2016, Tarpley removed the Tarpley Blog Post
and published an apology and retraction of the Tarpley Blog Post.

14. The injurious character of the defamatory statements in the Tarpley Blo Post is
self evident and therefore constitutes defamation per 36. Further, Plaintiff is involved in many
business ventures involving the licensing of her name and likeness, and relying upon her

valuable reputation, and the defamatory publication foreseeably caused substantial damage to her

business, career, reputation and her actual and prospective economic relationships. As a result of
Tarpley?s conduct, Plaintiff has been damaged in an amount to be proven at trial.

15. Tarpley?s conduct was despicable, abhorrent, intentional, malicious, and
oppressive, and thus justi?es an award of punitive damages.

WHEREFORE, the plaintiff, Melania Trump, demands judgment against the defendant,
Webster Grif?n Tarpley, in an amount in excess of Seventy Five Thousand Dollars
in compensatory damages and punitive damages, for a permanent injunction enjoining the
publication of the defamatory statements set forth herein, plus interest and costs and for such
other relief as this Court deems proper. I

COUNT II
(Libel Against Daily Mail)

16. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates by this reference paragraphs 1 throughIS as
though fully set forth herein.

17. On or about August 19, 2016, Daily Mail published an article entitled ?Naked
photoshoots, and troubling questions about visas that won?t go away: The VERY racy past of
Donald Trump?s Slovenian wife? (the ?Daily Mail Article?) on dailymail.co.uk.

18. The Daily Mail Article contained the following false and defamatory statements:

21. ?Just as it?s now claimed Melania moved to New York in 1995 not

1996 as she still says based on a set of highly-charged, lesbian?themed, nude

photographs of her said to have been taken in New York in 1995, which re-surfaced last

week it is also now being suggested the Trumps may have got confused about the date
of their ?rst meeting.?
b. ?According to a Slovenian journalist who has recently published an

unauthorised biography of Melania, the Kit Kat meeting was staged an elaborate act

for the bene?t of the public.?

c. ?Bojan Pozar claims the pair ?rst met three years earlier, in 1995, around
the time of the nude photo shoot. ?During my research I was told that they met in 1995,?
says Pozar, a journalist who is coauthor of Melania Trump The Inside Story: From A
Slovenian Communist Village To The White House.?

d. ??The years between 1995 and 1998 are the most secret years of Melania
Trump. She?d had a number of boyfriends in Slovenia, but we did not ?nd anyone
involved with Melania romantically during these years it is very strange.?

e. ?But why lie about the dates in the first place? Well, in 1995
Trump was still married to his second wife, Marla Maples, whom he?d wed in 1993.?

f. ?Claims that the 1998 meeting was a ?ruse? are also made in another book,
published this year, and available on Amazon.?

Hg. ?The book makes a number of unpleasant claims such as one that a
modelling agency Melania worked for in Milan before moving to New York was
?something like a gentleman?s club?.?

h. ?Earlier this month, a Slovenian magazine, Suzy, published a front page
story claiming Melania?s modelling agency in New York, run by New York entrepreneur,
Paolo Zampolli, also operated as an escort agency for wealthy clients.?

i. ??On the one hand they [the girls] pretended to be models, but they
principally earned money as elite escorts,? the magazine article claimed. ?They even had
two composite cards (presentation cards held by each model) with two photos and

5?

basic information such as measurements, and hair colour, and agency details.

j. ??One composite card was for the modelling business, and the other one
for the sex business, as it stated whether they prefer the older men and described their
abilities in the bedroom.?

k. ?The article added: ?What Melania?s [composite card] looked like only the
people involved know, but it is no coincidence she gotia rich husband.?

1. ?Biography writer Bojan Pozar has been told con?icting stories. One is
that they were introduced at a restaurant in New York?s Soho, another that it was at a
party given by a well known basketball player. But his sources agree on one thing that
it wasn?t at the Kit Kat Club in 1998.?

19. The statements of fact in the Daily Mail Article are false. Plaintiff did legitimate
and legal modeling work for legitimate business entities and did not work for any ?gentleman?s
club? or ?escort? agencies. Plaintiff was not a sex worker, escort or prostitute in any way, shape
or form, nor did she ever have a composite or presentation card for the sex business. Plaintiff did
not come to the United States until 1996. Thus, Plaintiff did not, and could not have participated
in a photo shoot in the United States or met her current husband in the United States prior to that
time.

20. The defamatory statements made in the Daily Mail Article were of and
concerning Plaintiff, and were attacks on her reputation which discouraged members of the
I public from having a positive opinion of her. I

21. On information and belief, Daily Mail wrote, edited and/or published the Daily
Mail Article while consciously doubting the truth of the Claims in the article, and after having
received a written statement from Plaintiff?s representative that the claims in the article were

false, and speci?cally that the source that they relied on was ?an unauthorized book written by

malicious and bitter ?reporters who have never met or spoken to Mrs. Trump and wrote a book
?lled with lies for their own personal gain?. Further, the Daily Mail Article itself admitted that
the claims that Plaintiff worked as an escort were ?unsubstantiated? and that the author of the
article was unable to contact the book author who was the supposed ?source? of the claims. The
book upon which the Daily Mail Article was based was apparently self-published and inherently
unreliable. Daily Mail thus acted with actual malice.

22. Thedefamatory statements in the Daily Mail Article were not privileged.

23. On or about August 22, 2016, Plaintiff, through counsel, sought from Daily Mail
a retraction of the Daily Mail Article, and an apology. On August 25, 2016, the Daily Mail
Article was removed from dail'ymailcouk. However, as of the date of ?ling of this Complaint,
there has been no retraction of the Daily Mail Article, or an apology.

24. The injurious character of the defamatory statements? in the Daily Mail Article is
self evident and therefore constitutes defamation per se. Further, Plaintiff is involved in many
business ventures involving the licensing of her name and likeness, and relying upon her
valuable reputation, and the defamatory publication foreseeany caused substantial damage to her
business, career, reputation and her actual and prospective economic relationships. As a result of
the conduct of Daily Mail, Plaintiff has been damaged in an amount to be proven at trial.

25. The conduct of Daily Mail was despicable, abhorrent, intentional, malicious and
oppressive, and thus justi?es an award of punitive damages.

WHEREFORE, the plaintiff, Melania Trump, demands judgment against the defendant,
Mail Media, Inc. d/b/a Mail Online, in an amount in excess of Seventy Five Thousand Dollars
in compensatory damages and punitive damages, for a permanent injunction

enjoining the publication of the defamatory statements set forth herein, plus interest and costs

and for such other relief as this Court deems proper.
COUNT
(Tortious Interference \Vith Actual and/0r Prospective Business Advantage
Against All Defendants)

26. Plaintiff realleges and incorporates by this reference paragraphs 1 through 25 as
though fully set forth herein.

27. Plaintiff has numerous licensing and endorsement contracts based on her good
name and reputation as a prominent woman in American business, politics and fashion.

28. The defamatory statements of each of the Defendants, as pleaded in this
Complaint, were intentionally made and were foreseeany and substantially certain to cause
interference with Plaintiff?s actual and/or prospective business relationships by damaging
Plaintiff? good name and reputation, and deterring persons and entities from doing business with
her.

29. Defendants? conduct in publishing the defamatory statements alleged herein
actually interfered with Plaintiff?s actual and/or prospective business relationships by sullying
her good name and accusing her of criminal, immoral conduct Which advertisers and business
people did not wish to be associated with.

30. Defendants? conduct in publishing false and defamatory statements was wrongful
and tortious conduct.

31. Defendants? publication of false and defamatory statements was not privileged.

32. As a proximate result of Defendants? conduct, Plaintiff has suffered damage to
her actual and/or prospective business relationships in an amount to be proven at trial.

33. Defendants? conduct was despicable, abhorrent, intentional, malicious, and

oppressive, and thus justifies an award of punitive damages.

a at? -J or 56

I.

Z?i?l

WHEREFORE, the plaintiff, Melania Trump, demands judgment jointly and severally
against all defendants in an amount in excess of Seventy Five Thousand Dollars in

compensatory damages and punitive damages, fora permanent injunction enjoining the

publication of the defamatory,r statements set forth herein, plus' interest and costs and for such

other relief as this Court deems proper.

JURY DEMAND
Plaintiff demands a trial by jury on all issues in this case pursuant to Md. Rule 2-325.

Respectfully submitted,

MILLER, MILLER CANBY

Donna E. McBride

200-B Monroe Street
Rockville, MD 20850

Tel. 301-762-5212

Fax: 301-762-6044

Counselfor PlaintifMelania rump
Of Counsel:

Charles J. Harder, Esq.

HARDER MIRELL ABRAMS LLP
132 S. Rodeo Drive, Fourth Floor
Beverly Hills, California 90212

Tel. 424-203-1600

Fax 424-203-1601

(Pro Irac vice application to be filed)

September 2016

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