A judge in Maryland has dismissed a lawsuit against the Daily Mail brought forward by First Lady Melania Trump.
The $150m (£113m) lawsuit concerned unflattering allegations about the First Lady's past first published by a Maryland blogger, Webster Tarpley. He wrote she worked as a "high-end escort" and suffered a "full-blown mental breakdown" in a post published in August and reported in the Daily Mail.
Judge Sharon Burrell had given Trump the go ahead in the lawsuit against the blogger on 27 January, but agreed with the Daily Mail's lawyers that the Maryland court had no jurisdiction over the UK-based publication.
Trump's attorney thought it was going to save courtroom time to file both lawsuit in the same proceeding, and had tried to prove there was a connection to the East Coast state due to the 72,600 unique browsers per day coming from Maryland to the website, Buzzfeed reported.
According to the Washington Post, the ruling does not necessarily present the end of legal troubles for the online Daily Mail, as Trump's attorneys intend to refile the claims in New York City, where the US head office of the publication is based.
The Daily Mail had published an article amplifying Tarpley's statements both in the print and online and were only retracted once the lawsuit was filed on 1 September. According to the publication, the article had made clear there was no support for the claims, including a statement from Melania Trump's spokesperson. "The point of the article was that these allegations could impact the US presidential election even if they are untrue," the Daily Mail wrote in the lengthy retraction.
The First Lady's lawyer Charles Harder said in a statement on 1 September the publication of "false and defamatory statements" about Trump damaged her reputation. Harder, who successfully defended wrestler Hulk Hogan in a lawsuit against the website Gawker in 2016, also stated the retraction would not make any difference to the legal proceedings because reporters cannot make defamatory statements under the guise of reporting rumours.