Is Melania Trump a Public Figure?

Melania Trump’s lawyer threatened to sue three publications regarding their allegations that the former model is also a former escort. LiberalAmerica issued a prominent apology for their article. If you haven’t seen anything about this story, their apology is an excellent recap of the entire “scandal,” which, like many parts of the Trump lifestyle, would have died a natural death if they hadn’t turned it into a scandal.

“I’m also sorry beyond words that Mrs. Trump decided to take the stage at the GOP convention and give a speech … said that only her husband could effectively lead and save the United States. That only her husband could make America great again. In my book, that makes her a public figure, meaning that I can say any damn thing I want about her and she has no recourse whatsoever. Libel is almost impossible to prove, but she and her husband have unlimited financial resources and I don’t, so I have no choice but to write this mea culpa.”  [Emphasis mine.]

The author’s words made me curious. Is Melania Trump a public figure?

My research didn’t definitively answer that question. It did point to several legal rulings, indicating lawsuits are often required to figure it out. Laura Bush is a public figure because she is married to someone with a great deal of power and influence. Melania Trump is also married to someone who has a great deal of power and influence and is publicly encouraging Americans to give him, and, by extension, herself, even more. Does that make her a public figure?

According to Melania Trump’s lawyer, yes.  Continue reading