A New York tabloid has published nude pictures of Melania Trump from her modelling days and her husband, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, is not complaining.
“Melania was one of the most successful models, and she did many photo shoots, including for covers and major magazines,” Trump told the tabloid, New York Post.
“This was a picture taken for a European magazine prior to my knowing Melania. In Europe, pictures like this are very fashionable and common,” he added.
His campaign spokesman Jason Miller told CNN: “They’re a celebration of the human body as art, and (there’s) nothing to be embarrassed about with the photos. She’s a beautiful woman.”
There was speculation that Trump may have provided those pictures himself to divert attention from his ongoing row with the Khans, parents of a fallen American Muslim soldier.
The Post ran the pictures in two lots. The first debuted in its Sunday edition with a front-page picture of Melania Trump in the nude, with “The Ogle Office” as the headline.
A pitch-line added alluringly, “You have never seen a potential First Lady like this!” Melania Trump is indeed in the nude, completely, with stars covering some body parts.
The second lot ran in the late edition of the Sunday paper under the headline: Melange A Trump, with Melania in the nude held from behind by another woman who is also naked.
These pictures were shot in Manhattan in 1995 and first ran in a French men’s magazine.
Melania Trump was 25 then and was known as Melania Knauss or just Melania K.
“Melania was super-great and a fantastic personality and she was very kind with me,” Alé de Basseville, French photographer who shot those pictures, told the Post.
The publication doesn’t give details of how it acquired these pictures, but the fact that it has endorsed Trump’s campaign gave some people reasons to speculate about the circumstances.
Also noteworthy was Trump’s understated response — almost approving of it — compared to the storm he raised over nudes of Melania Trump that had surfaced during the primaries and caucuses.
Trump had blamed his leading rival Ted Cruz for it, and had retaliated by re-tweeting a post carrying an unflattering picture of Cruz’s wife alongside one of a glamorous Melania Trump.
The pictures carried by the Post are distinctly more revealing and racier — specially the second girl-on-girl lot — but the nominee and the campaign don’t seem to care much this time.