Melania Trump is the most non-traditional First Lady the country has ever had, and that’s not all bad. She’s purportedly made the decision to stay in New York and care for Barron Trump until the end of the school year (other reports suggest that the arrangement will likely be permanent). I mean, good for her: I wouldn’t want to live with Donald Trump every day, either, and Melania shouldn’t have to give up whatever she’s got going on for the benefit of her husband. Although, the arrangement is costing taxpayers $1 million a day, or about what it cost the country to fund Legal Services for those who live under the poverty line (a program Trump plans to eliminate). If Melania wants to live by herself, that’s fine, but maybe Mr. Billionaire Donald Trump could pay for it, rather than taking away the only access low-income women have to domestic violence lawyers.
At any rate, we won’t speculate on what’s going on in their marriage because that’s beneath us (no, it’s not. It’s clear from their interactions that there’s no deep affection between the two). What we do know is that while a lot of people often feel sorry for Melania for being stuck in a marriage with a monster, Melania also planned to use her role as First Lady to make millions of dollars, an assertion that Melania specifically made in her defamation lawsuit against The Daily Mail, after the British paper suggested she was an escort at one time.
In order to win a defamation case, one has to prove damages. In this case, the damages that Melania suggests that she suffered from the false claim is that she can no longer use her position as First Lady to enrich herself, her brand and products.
Plaintiff had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person…to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world,” the lawsuit outlines.
“These product categories would have included, among other things, apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and fragrance.”
Melania is filing a lawsuit seeking $150 million, the amount of money she claims she’s missing out on because The Daily Mail ruined her “once in a lifetime opportunity” to exploit her position as First Lady.
Reminder: The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution prohibits the President from using his position to enrich himself or his family. So, basically, Melania Trump is saying that The Daily Mail’s accusation — since retracted — that she once worked as an escort has prevented Melania and her husband from violating the Constitution by selling a goddamn fragrance with her name on it.
Same, Michelle. Same. (And yes, I know that’s not Melania, but the disapproving look stands.)