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British newspaper pulls article peppered with false claims about US first lady from its site, as to The Guardian.
The Daily Telegraph has paid “substantial damages” to Melania Trump and apologised “unreservedly” to the US first lady after making a number of false claims about her life in an article.
The claims were made in a story entitled The mystery of Melania, which ran on the cover of last Saturday’s Telegraph magazine, but the newspaper has now said it included a number of errors about Donald Trump’s wife which should not have been published.
The piece promised to tell the truth on what it described as the “most private and enigmatic” of presidential wives after interviews with “White House insiders, Slovenian school friends and photographers”.
The newspaper – after an unusually swift retraction and settlement – pulled the story by the US journalist Nina Burleigh, who works for Newsweek and is the author of the book Golden Handcuffs: The Secret History of Trump’s Women. The Telegraph took the story down from its website and issued a lengthy point-by-point correction.
The newspaper said in a statement retracting the piece: “Mrs Trump’s father was not a fearsome presence and did not control the family. Mrs Trump did not leave her design and architecture course at university relating to the completion of an exam, as alleged in the article, but rather because she wanted to pursue a successful career as a professional model. Mrs Trump was not struggling in her modelling career before she met Mr Trump, and she did not advance in her career due to the assistance of Mr Trump.
“We accept that Mrs Trump was a successful professional model in her own right before she met her husband and obtained her own modelling work without his assistance. Mrs Trump met Mr Trump in 1998, not in 1996 as stated in the article. The article also wrongly claimed that Mrs Trump’s mother, father and sister relocated to New York in 2005 to live in buildings owned by Mr Trump. They did not. The claim that Mrs Trump cried on election night is also false.
“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.”