‘We apologise unreservedly to the first lady and her family for any embarrassment caused by our publication of these allegations. As a mark of our regret we have agreed to pay Mrs. Trump substantial damages as well as her legal costs.’
That’s how the Telegraph acknowledged the “number of false statements” the British paper recently published about Melania Trump’s life.
The story at the heart of the apology, “The mystery of Melania,” was written by American author Nina Burleigh and reportedly prompted Trump to demand that the record by corrected.
The falsehoods, according to the Telegraph, include portraying Melania Trump’s father as “a fearsome presence,” claiming she struggled in her modeling career before Donald Trump came along, and misstating that the two met in 1996, when the couple actually first met in 1998.
The president, of course, chimed in on Twitter:
Thank you to Brit. This is a very big deal in Europe. Fake News is the Enemy of the People! https://t.co/WX0o8gaiMC
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2019
The amount of the damages was not specified in this case, but Melania Trump was previously awarded almost $3 million in a lawsuit brought against the Daily Mail for false and defamatory statements about her.
“Mrs. Trump often refers to opportunists out to advance themselves by disparaging her name and image,” Trump’s communications director said in a statement to CNN. “She will not sit by as people and media outlets make up lies and false assertions in a race for ratings or to sell tabloid headlines.”
Burleigh, for her part, refused to admit any wrongdoing.
“The book has been out since October, and excerpted widely in various U.S. publications without a peep of objection,” she told the Daily Beast in a statement on Saturday. “I stand by my reporting.”