Mail Retracts “Escort” Story After Trump Hires Gawker-Bankrupting Lawyer

The Daily Mail has issued a lengthy, grovelling retraction after Melania Trump filed a lawsuit against them in a Maryland court for publishing claims she was once an escort. Trump’s attorney Charles Harder is suing them for $150 million:

“Defendants broadcast their lies to millions of people throughout the US and the world. Defendants’ actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs Trump that her damages are estimated at $US150 million.”

Harder is the infamous lawyer who represented Hulk Hogan in his successful suit against US gossip blog Gawker. Hogan was awarded damages of $140 million, Gawker was bankrupted and shut down. Late last night the Mail published a long retraction expressing “regret“:

“To the extent that anything in the Daily Mail’s article was interpreted as stating or suggesting that Mrs. Trump worked as an ‘escort’ or in the ‘sex business,’ that she had a ‘composite or presentation card for the sex business,’ or that either of the modeling agencies referenced in the article were engaged in these businesses, it is hereby retracted, and the Daily Mail newspaper regrets any such misinterpretation.”

Calling a presidential candidate’s wife a hooker does seem a little high risk. Gawker went under for reporting the truth…

Jon Steafel Out at the Mail


Guido hears the Daily Mail’s long-serving Jon Steafel is leaving after decades at the paper. Steafel, who readers will remember rowing with Bad Al Campbell about Ed Miliband’s dad, was deputy editor for 11 years. Back in April Dacre shuffled his top team and pinched Gerard Greaves from the MoS, moving Steafel to the role of group managing editor. After mulling it over he has decided to take a payoff instead, said to be in the region of a million pounds. Fleet Street loses a veteran once tipped for the Mail’s top job…

Cleese Hopes Dacre’s Next Heart Attack “Is His Last”

john cleese

Twitter has not been a happy forum for John Cleese, whose foray onto social media has transformed him from national treasure to eccentric old weirdo. The Hacked Off divorce enthusiast this morning tweeted that he hoped Paul Dacre’s next heart attack “is his last”. Dacre has a heart condition. Last year Guido caught Cleese comparing journalists to murderers – he first denied he’d said it then fessed up and claimed he was joking. Step away from the keyboard…

“Sarah Vine is Away”

Readers of today’s Daily Mail hoping for more musings from inside the Gove household have been left disappointed…

UPDATE: Steerpike say she won’t be writing for the next few weeks. Media Guardian say the column will be shelved but a spokesman says: “We are looking forward to her next brilliant column in the Mail.”

Media Organisations Using Offshore Havens


Guido is enjoying the squirming of the offshore elite as much as anyone – the Icelandic premier is a corker, the Putin case study is great, the Bollywood stars who make their millions from millions of poor Indians will find it hard to survive the reputational hit. All very enjoyable.

It is worth mentioning that most of the UK’s big media organisations shelter assets and cash flows offshore. Top of the hypocrites in this respect is The Guardian. They put their assets in the Caymans, and they used a Luxembourg tax shell designed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers to funnel cash flows beyond the reach of HMRC. They previously blamed the difficult economic environment for committing the sins for which they condemn others. This isn’t just hypocrisy, this is an insult to us all. The Guardian’s entire heritage is one of tax dodging, the original founding Scott Trust was itself a tax dodge. They have year after year avoided tens of millions of taxes…

Other media organisations using offshore entities include the Huffington Post – whose journalists criticised Amazon for doing the same. The owners of the Mail, News UK and The Telegraph also have various offshore tax-efficient structures. Facebook, Google and Guido are not UK-owned though in the latter groups’ cases they have at least never claimed to be in favour of clamping down on tax havens. Guido’s point is that the likes of the Guardian should practice what they preach, hold all their assets in the UK and pay all the taxes which will consequently arise.

Read more:

Tim Walker Walks from Mail on Sunday


Tim Walker has resigned from the Mail on Sunday. Some less kind than Guido would say he has jumped before he was pushed. Tim ran the Girl About Town diary when Charlotte Griffiths was away last week and they are being sued for two stories. Occupational hazard…

Expensive one could be Nancy Dell’olio allegedly having a nose job, which turned out to be complete bollocks. Nancy Dell’Olio has instructed Collyer Bristow, solicitors over the headline “Nancy knows a man who can make your nose thinner for £500”. They say that Dell’Olio has not had treatment from Dr de Souza, nor does she know this doctor.

Girl About Town is in a bit of trouble at the moment. With Walker out, Deborah Sherwood (the deputy editor) gone, and Hanna Flint (the diary reporter) having just left. Charlotte Griffiths is still there, and there are two new diarists on board. Apply by Twitter…

UPDATE: Mail on Sunday management get in touch to insist everything is hunky dory and Tim will be working from home on a freelance basis.

Mail Out, MoS In

This morning’s Daily Mail front page polemic invoking Hitler and Chamberlain all but confirms Paul Dacre is backing Leave. Northcliffe House sources have long said Dacre will not sell out on his long-held Euroscepticism, though the feeling among staff is that the Mail on Sunday will endorse Remain. Geordie Greig is seen as less dogmatic than Dacre on Europe, and gave Cameron a relatively easy ride on the referendum in this interview last year. This was at least the case before Cameron’s deal…

Another Twitter Exclusive

Guido noticed this tweet on EyeSpy.MP Friday and failed to follow it up because he was stuck at an airport. You snooze, you lose:


A tweet on EyeSpy.MP on Friday, an exclusive in Mail on Sunday…

Life on Moir?

This double page spread in today’s Mail is terribly unfortunate. Planet earth is blue and there’s nothing they can do about that headline…

H/T @henrymance


James Slack New Mail Pol-Ed

Guido understands that James Slack, the Mail’s Home Affairs editor who has been leading the politics coverage since James Chapman’s departure, will be the new Political Editor. Slack will be in charge of the day to day running of the politics team.[…]


Katie Hopkins Joins MailOnline

… Reports MediaGuardian. Bye…

UPDATE: Contrary to the Guardian claim that Hopkins “resigned“, Guido understands her contract was allowed to run down and was never going to be renewed. A Sun spokesman says:

“She leaves for the Mail Online with our best wishes.”



Tim Walker to the Mail on Sunday

A little birdie tells Guido that pugnacious diarist Tim Walker, formerly editor of the Telegraph’s retired Mandrake column and most recently found at the Mirror, is off to the Mail on Sunday. Walker’s inside track on the world of hard-partying aristos is rivalled only by the daily’s Sebastian Shakespeare, and is probably better suited at the MoS than a redtop.[…]


Liz Laid It On Thick


Judging from the ferocity of her protest about Mail on Sunday political editor Simon Walters’ ‘unbelievable’ question to her about her weight, you’d think Liz Kendall would have thrown him out of her office where the interview took place. Er, no.[…]


Telegraph and Mail Fall for Greek F-16 Cash Dash Hoax


The Telegraph and Mail have just pulled articles claiming that a Hellenic Air Force pilot made an unscheduled stop in Turkey in order circumvent cash withdrawal restrictions in Greece:

deleted article f-16 greek pilot euros turkey

The hoax appears to have originated on French aviation blog It managed to convince both the Telegraph and Mail that a pilot flying on patrol over the Greek island of Samos landed his plane on an abandoned Turkish airfield, hid it in a hangar, legged it to a hole in the wall, and withdrew €2,000 before scrambling his plane back into the sky.[…]


Ban This Sick Filth

Liz Kendall memorably told the Mail on Sunday’s Simon Walters to “f**k off” when he asked her if she is “about the same weight as the Duchess of Cambridge”. Liz was so outraged that she told John Pienaar:

“I just think it’s unbelievable that in the 21st Century women still get asked such very, very different questions from men. 



Peter Oborne Rejoins the Mail

Peter Oborne, who dramatically quit the Telegraph in February, will be rejoining the Mail according to sources at both papers.

The Daily Telegraph’s former chief political commentator cited the troubled broadsheet’s coverage of the HSBC banking scandal – or lack thereof – in a well timed career move.[…]


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