Melania Trump Made at Least $100,000 from News Organizations That Paid to Use Photos Designated for Only Positive Stories: Report

Illustration for article titled Melania Trump Made at Least $100,000 from News Organizations That Paid to Use Photos Designated for Only Positive Stories: Report
Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

The first lady is still modeling it seems, after she reportedly earned anywhere from $100,000 to $1,000,000 in royalties from images of the Trump family as part of an unconventional licensing agreement with Getty Images.


According to NBC News, a May financial disclosure form, released by the president, showed that Melania Trump earned a hefty sum from a contract agreement with Getty Images in 2017. The financial line item was listed only as “use of photographic images” and neither the White House or Getty Images has explained the actual amount earned for using the images.

According to The Washington Examiner, the special images were part of a 187-photo series staged by Belgian photographer Regine Mahaux between 2010 and 2016, which showed Melania, Donald Trump and their son Barron in various posed states. Some of the images show the Trump’s inside their spacious New York City residence.


Some 12 news outlets including: Yahoo Lifestyle, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News, all used the special images, but each of these sites have now deleted the images from their websites after NBC News contacted them regarding the use of the photos.

NBC News, which broke the story, was also guilty of using the images, but NBC News, like many of the outlets that used the images, noted that they had no idea that the first lady was being compensated for use of the images and that they’d signed no contract or had no knowledge that the images were only supposed to run with positive stories.

“We were not aware of this specific arrangement with Getty nor was our editorial influenced by it,” Yahoo told NBC News. “We have removed the image from Yahoo Lifestyle.”

NBC News noted that Getty Images specifies that the images are to be used in “positive stories only. The photo agency website doesn’t allow normal subscribers to download the images without first negotiating a price.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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Wait a minute, I thought that the Trumps were not supposed to be monetizing their position, because ..... oh ,never mind.