A lawyer representing first lady Melania Trump said Tuesday his client has reached a settlement involving payment and a retraction with regard to her defamation complaint against a Gaithersburg blogger.
Attorney Matthew Blackett, on behalf of Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, said the first lady had settled the case.
“The First Lady of the United States has settled her lawsuit against Webster Griffin Tarpley of Maryland,” Blackett said. “Mr. Tarpley has issued the attached retraction and apology to Mrs. Trump and her family, and agreed to pay her a substantial sum as a settlement.”
John Owen, Tarpley’s attorney, confirmed that he and Harder settled the case.
“I anticipate a retraction coming from Mr. Tarpley in the near future,” Owen said.
Tarpley gave a notice of retraction of his statements in an August blog post about Trump working as a high-end escort and apologized to the first lady, as noted in Harder’s statement. Tarpley said the post was “replete with false and defamatory statements about her.”
“I had no legitimate factual basis to make these false statements, and I fully retract them,” he added.
He then apologized to Trump and her family because his statements were unkind.
“I acknowledge that these false statements were very harmful and hurtful to Mrs. Trump and her family, and therefore I sincerely apologize to Mrs. Trump, her son, her husband and her parents for making these false statements,” Tarpley said.
Neither Harder nor Owen disclosed the sum that Tarpley paid to settle the complaint.
Owen declined to comment further on the case.
Trump filed a dual complaint against the Daily Mail and against Tarpley in Montgomery County Circuit Court Sept. 1. She has since filed separate litigation against the Daily Mail.