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Melania Trump accepts damages and apology over Mail report about her past

Donald Trump's wife Melania has accepted damages and an apology at the High Court in London over allegations about her work as a professional model.

The action was against Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail.

Mr Justice Nicol was told that an article published in the newspaper in August last year "included false and defamatory claims" about her "which questioned the nature of her work as a professional model, and republished allegations that she provided services beyond simply modelling".

Her lawyer John Kelly said the article included statements that Mrs Trump denied the allegations and Paulo Zampolli, who ran the modelling agency, also denied the allegations.

The article, he said, also stated that there was no evidence to support the allegations.

He told the judge: "The article also claimed that Mr and Mrs Trump may have met three years before they actually met, and 'staged' their actual meeting as a 'ruse'."

Mr Kelly said the allegations about Mrs Trump were not true - and "strike at the heart of the claimant's personal integrity and dignity".

Catrin Evans QC, for the publishers, told the judge: "The defendant acknowledges that these claims about the claimant are untrue, and we retract and withdraw them.

"The defendant is here today publicly to set the record straight, and to apologise to the claimant for any distress and embarrassment that the articles may have caused her."

The amount of damages were not disclosed in court at the hearing on Wednesday.

The total payment of damages and costs is believed to come to less than three million dollars (£2.4 million).

Solicitor Mr Kelly, reading out an agreed statement, told the judge: "The claimant is the First Lady of the United States of America, a successful businesswoman, a former model, and the wife of the President of the United States and highly successful businessman, Donald J Trump.

"The claimant and Mr Trump have been married since 2005 and have one child together."

Mr Kelly said the defendant published an article on two pages of the Daily Mail entitled "Racy photos and troubling questions about his wife's past that could derail Trump".

He said: "The article was illustrated with an old photograph of the claimant standing naked with her front against a wall but her faced turned towards the camera."

Mr Kelly told the court that Mrs Trump had not acted as alleged, adding: "The suggestion that such allegations even merit investigation is deeply offensive and has caused a great deal of upset and distress to the claimant."

Associated Newspapers had agreed to "pay damages to the claimant".

A joint statement on behalf of Mrs Trump, Associated Newspapers and Mail Media Inc, was released after the brief hearing, stating: " In September 2016, Melania Trump sued the Daily Mail newspaper in the United Kingdom and Mail Online in the United States.

"The legal actions concerned allegations published in late August 2016 questioning the nature of work undertaken by Mrs Trump in the 1990s when she worked as a professional model, and republished allegations that she provided services beyond simply modelling.

"The article included statements that Mrs Trump denied the allegations and Paulo Zampolli, who ran the modelling agency, also denied the allegations, and the article also stated that there was no evidence to support the allegations.

"The article also claimed that Mr and Mrs Trump may have met three years before they actually met, and 'staged' their actual meeting as a 'ruse'.

"Daily Mail and Mail Online have retracted the above statements complained of by Mrs Trump."

The statement said the Daily Mail and Mail Online have agreed to print a retraction and apology in the Daily Mail, at DailyMail.com and at DailyMail.co.uk.

The total payout in damages and costs is understood to be in relation to the proceedings in both the UK and US.

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