"Melania is a hooker," quip lands US journalist in hot water

The New York Times reporter Jacob Bernstein has apologised for the "unfounded" remarks

"Melania is a hooker," quip lands US journalist in hot water

US President Donald Trump answers press questions with his wife Melania on board Air Force One [AP Photo/Susan Walsh]

A New York Times reporter has apologised for comments he made in a private conversation about the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump.

Jacob Bernstein was called out on social media by model and actress Emily Ratajkowski, who tweeted that she had been told by an NYT reporter “Melania is a hooker.”

Ratajkowski, best known for appearances in the Blurred Lines music video and Gone Girl, accused the journalist of slut shaming. “I don’t care about her nudes or sexual history and no one should,” the model said, adding: “Gender specific attacks are disgusting sexist bullshit.”

Profuse apology

Bernstein, son of essayist Nora Ephron and Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein, took to his own Twitter account to make an apology for his comments.

“I want to take ownership of a mistake I made. Speaking at a party in what I thought was a personal conversation, I nevertheless made a stupid remark about the first lady,” he said.

“My editors have made it clear my behaviour was not in keeping with the standards of the Times, and I agree. My mistake, referring to unfounded rumours, shouldn’t reflect on anyone else and I apologise profusely.”

Reacting to the news, the New York Times, which has been repeatedly maligned by President Donald Trump as a purveyor of ‘fake news’, said in a statement: “At a party last night, a Times reporter who does not cover Washington or politics, referred to an unfounded rumour regarding Melania Trump. The comment was not intended to be public, but it was nonetheless completely inappropriate and should not have occurred.

“Editors have talked to the reporter in question about the lapse.”

Defamation case

Melania Trump is currently engaged in a legal battle with The Daily Mail over claims a story published by the paper stating she had worked as an escort had cost her millions of dollars in potential business.

 The First Lady is represented by Charles Harder, the same lawyer who acted as counsel for Hulk Hogan during the privacy suit the former wrestler launched against Gawker Media, resulting in a $140m damages win.

A similar case, made against blogger Webster Tarpley, was settled out of court for a “substantial sum,” with the Maryland man making a full apology to her.

The First Lady’s twitter account yesterday praised model Emily Ratajkowski for defending her:

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