In February, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told supporters the U.S. “ought to open up the libel laws” against publications who write “purposely negative and horrible and false articles.” This week, his wife set out to test those legal boundaries.

Melania Trump filed a defamation lawsuit against a Maryland-based blogger and a popular British tabloid in Maryland state court Thursday, accusing them of publishing what her lawyer described as “false and tremendously damaging” rumors about her, including a claim she was a sex worker in the 1990s.

At the center of her complaint are a series of eyebrow-raising allegations about her past that were separately published last month by Webster Tarpley, a political blogger, and the Daily Mail, a major London-based tabloid. First, in an August 2 post, Tarpley quoted unnamed sources and “unconfimed” reports that described Melania Trump as “suffering from a nervous breakdown” after she plagiarized a portion of a 2008 Michelle Obama speech during the Republican National Convention. Also fueling her rumored breakdown, Tarpley claimed, were “possible revelations” she worked as a “luxury escort in the 1990s” before meeting her husband.

For more information, visit www.theatlantic.com.

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