Nina Burleigh, the writer of an article for the Daily Telegraph which caused the British newspaper to issue an apology and pay damages to first lady Melania Trump, is now threatening her own defamation lawsuit.
Burleigh's lawyers have alleged that the apology published by the outlet, in and of itself, is damaging to Burleigh's reputation as a journalist and are demanding that it be taken down from the Telegraph's website,
"In short, your apology traduces Ms. Burleigh’s reputation as a competent journalist by asserting that many of the statements in the article and by extension in the book from which the article was derived, both authored by her, are false. In fact, it is TMG's [Telegraph Media Group]'s apology that is false," stated the letter.
"TMG had nothing to apologise for, and both the fact that it did so, and the particularly lurid way it abandoned the article, have turned Ms. Burleigh into an 'international poster girl for fake news,'" Burleigh's attorneys wrote.
The letter goes on to say that the Telegraph "capitulate[d] abjectly in the face of his letter without regard to normal journalistic practices, at the cost of Ms. Burleigh's personal and professional reputation."
"The overall effect of the apology is to make the reasonable reader believe that Ms. Burleigh is an incompetent and unprofessional journalist, who made multiple unsupported allegations or deliberate lies without sources or without checking them," the letter to Telegraph editor Chris Evans read.
According to the Washington Examiner, Burleigh stands by her original reporting on the subject. The apology stemmed from the cover story of the Jan. 19 magazine issue, titled "The Mystery of Melania." Authored by Burleigh, the article was an adapted extract from her book, Golden Handcuffs: The Secret History of Trump’s Women, published in October 2020.
The Telegraph agreed to apologize to the former First Lady for the article and also paid Melania Trump "substantial damages" of an undisclosed amount for publishing the article in question in an out-of-court settlement.