Jef Rouner

I Don’t Care If Melania Trump Was a Sex Worker and Neither Should You

I Don’t Care If Melania Trump Was a Sex Worker and Neither Should You
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Melania Trump at the Republican National Convention. Photo: ABC / Fred Watkins


When Donald Trump lubed up and committed to actually, for real thrusting himself into the American race to be president, I made a little promise to myself. I won’t slut-shame his wife, former model Melania Trump. I won’t slut-shame her in a blog. I won’t slut-shame her on a log. I won’t slut-shame her in a tweet. I won’t slut-shame her with some meat.


This was always going to be a problem, both from Donald’s GOP Primary detractors and from the left as well. Melania is a rather appropriately atypical First Lady material thanks to her modeling career, and literally the first picture I ever saw of this woman was a tasteful nude composition. Since securing the nomination, the tabloids have been digging through her past trying to find two things: a picture of her nipples and maybe proof she’s had non-marital dick in her. Ah, journalism, where a picture of Taylor Swift’s uncovered right tit taken with a telephoto lens is probably worth more than I’ve ever been paid as a writer.


Well, they did find Mrs. Trump’s nipples, and a shot of her in a Sapphic pose to boot (no, I’m not linking to them). The New York Post managed to find a set of prints from a mid-‘90s shoot done in Manhattan for a now-defunct French magazine called Max that shows her naked and in bed with Scandinavian model Emma Erikkson, as well as more traditional nude shots.


Then, a story from the Slovenian magazine Suzy (are all European magazines just first names like Beyoncé?) ran a front page story that the modeling agency Melania was signed to also operated as an escort service. Inquisitr and Daily Mail picked it up, and suddenly everyone was talking about the possibility Melania was a sex worker.


Let’s be clear, the agency’s owner, Paolo Zampolli, immediately denied he ran an escort service on the side, calling the accusations “fucking rubbish.” The Trumps lawyered up as only tycoons can, utilizing the services of Charles Harder, who sued Gawker on behalf of Hulk Hogan and ultimately got the company shut down. Inquisitr and Daily Mail deleted the stories, and several outlets that regurgitated them apologized.


And just so we don’t incur The Donald’s wrath over his wife’s honor, if Melania says she wasn’t an escort I have absolutely no reason not to believe her. I assume that if there were any truth to Zampolli’s agency offering escort services, the national news media would have brought at least one other person out of the woodwork to talk about it. In a world where it’s Melania Trump’s word against some random magazine in Slovenia and the Daily Mail, I’m going with Melania.


But more than that, it really shouldn’t have mattered if she had been an escort, and the entire brouhaha over the whole mess got me really depressed by my own side of the aisle.


“But Jef,” so many people said, “It’s not slut-shaming. We’re pointing out the hypocrisy of how the GOP treats Michelle Obama as classless but celebrates Melania. It’s the hypocrisy that matters!”


Is it? Is it, really? The way I see it, if your critique of something is fundamentally identical to an example of something then it’s not a very good critique. Was it wrong when Republicans and their meat-headed flock on social media spread around pics of Michelle’s arms as if she was parading around in a Girls Gone Wild tank top? Of course it bloody was. Anyone who says that the First Lady should not show her shoulders because it’s cheap is being an out-of-touch sexist git.


The line between pointing out hypocrisy and screaming, “MY TURN,” is rail thin, and I saw a lot of feminist and other leftists snort that line up through a straw. If you want to deal with the way we treat the wives of public figures, the best bet is to just not be sexist. Slut-shaming Melania to avenge Michelle isn’t ironic, clever or ultimately helpful. You can’t really claim the right is worse about this sort of thing just because you’re willing to do it a little less.


Beyond that, I just really dislike the idea that letting someone take pictures of her breasts or being an escort would make Melania unfit to be the First Lady. I’m not sure exactly how I managed it, but I know a lot of people in the sex and sex-related industries. On my Facebook friends list I count an AVN Hall of Fame pornographic actress, two dominatrices, a script-writer from the Golden Age of Porn, nude models both traditional and fetish, three people who have sex-advice shows or blogs, about a dozen burlesque dancers, a few cam girls, erotica writers of every pairing you can think, and at least one woman I know who worked as an escort. That’s not even counting the number of people here in the Houston goth scene I have known that worked at one of the adult novelty stores or tried their hands as phone sex operators.


Every single one of these people is a completely normal and productive member of society. Some of them pursue the sex stuff as a second job or as a hobby, and some of them it’s their primary source of income. They pay taxes, raise children, have friends, and contribute to their communities. One of them is phone-banking for her presidential favorite the important state of Nevada as we speak, which is certainly more than I’m doing (and she’s definitely going to yell at me about it when she sees this article).


Melania’s modeling scandals have erased everything positive that might be said of her, casting her as a bimbo trophy wife. Did you know she speaks five languages? Judging by the comment sections I read that’s 4.5 more than most Americans speak. She also does a lot of charity work. Her Wikipedia page used to have a nice list of those accomplishments, and now it just sports dirt. I actually had to go digging pretty far into Google just to slog past all the listicles telling me about how she’d be the first First Lady to pose nude to find that charity work again. She’s a Goodwill Ambassador for the American Red Cross. She works with the Police Athletic League, a group that helps at-risk New York kids, and also the Boy’s Club of New York. It’s not the Clinton Foundation or anything, but these really seem like things we should know about a potential First Lady more than how she looked wearing nothing but high heels.


Treating sex and sexuality as a disqualification for respecting women and their accomplishments is something that is woven into the fabric of our society. The religious do it out of a sense of purity. Feminists sometimes do it out of a misguided sense of salvation. Everyone in-between does it just because that’s how it’s always been done. Very few of us ever take the time to bother getting to know people in the actual sex industry to find out what they’re like, what they want out of us regarding their industry, and what is unhelpful.


That’s bad. All those friends I listed? I imagine those women watching Melania burn across the media, marked for her sins and deemed unworthy. Each of those women knows that if they ever wanted to enter public service, or even just marry someone who wanted to enter public service, they risk the same stigma. The only narrative that we’d accept from them is how they’d “fallen,” but how they “bettered themselves,” because the only narrative we seem to have for a woman using her own sexuality as an instrument of financial agency is that she was somehow damned into it.


There’s nothing wrong with nude modeling or sex work. You want to scold Melania for possibly plagiarizing a speech from Michelle Obama? Go right ahead. Did she lie and tell people she graduated from college when she actually left to pursue modeling? That does seem to be the case. You want some real hypocrisy to point out, ask her how she can support her husband’s ideas on immigrants given that she is one, and that being a model definitely greased the skids for her to get here. However, if all you know about Melania is that she was a nude model, and that’s enough for you to write her off, you’re part of the problem, whatever side you’re on.

  • Virginia

    Leaving college to pursue modeling is not necessarily the same as leaving college and then pursuing modeling. The latter is probably is more near an accurate statement.

  • Namakabrood Abrood

    Jane Fonda did a lot of nudity, however she’s 10 times politically wiser than Melania. BTW saying Thank you in 5 languages doesn’t count. Any woman interested in Trump is a gold digger.

  • mimi r

    What are you 12? Yes it is about her morals. We certainly made a huge deal over Bill. And her disgusting hustler photos do matter. And really, the owner of the “modeling ” agency denies it… well that makes it true. Lol. Crawl under a rock. Your slimy.

  • John Bokilo

    From the back stories that have been published, Melania Trump was a call girl. That is why here immigration storey did not make sense and she had taken nude pictures with other women. Also, she lied About having a degree in architecture; she was a dropout!

    Would the GOP and Fix News had sat quiet if this were Michelle Obama? Undisputedly no! Sad and conspicuous double standards.

  • j2saret

    You are correct as far as you go but if she was employed in any capacity in this country while here on a visitor ‘s visa, that is a matter of concern.

  • Ganeshas stepbrother

    Is this article seriously trying to defend the idea that if a woman was actually an escort (hooker) America should be proud of her as First Lady if Trump if elected?


    This is what we have come to?

    I guess it is in line with the Trump defenders that ignore his con man approach to many of his business interactions and how many people he has screwed over while criticizing Hillary for every little mistake while she tries to help people.

    I know, I know, Hillary has people murdered, she sells secrets to our enemies and her foundation is one big atm… except, I never hear real evidence that proves these claims.

    Do I care if Melania gave a full girlfriend experience for a few hundred bucks a couple decades ago?


    Do I want the First Lady of The US to be an ex excort?

    Hell no!

    I can see Putin now asking “how much, how much for her” pointing in the general direction of the Trump family, no one certain which girl he’s referring to.

    everyone knows she is still giving the full girlfriend experience with Donny but it’s costing him millions.

    • Virginia

      Maybe Donald and Melania Trump’s COMRAD VLAD wants Melania there??????

  • CorbyJB .

    Donald married the women, Billy the zipper used them and then turned his attack dog Hillary on them.
    The USS Hillary whored out America to the tune of millions of dollars Her wake was global. Ask the folks of Haiti and Africa about that lousy couple.

  • Gidget Hrobowski

    No, of course, you don’t care of she was a sex worker, posed nude, posed with a female, and exposed everything but the kitchen sink. However somehow the republicans judged EVERYTHING about Michelle Obama, even though she was Yale graduate, an attorney, decent person, and fiercely proud African. She was called everything from the N word, etc. Y’all even had the nerve to claim it was disgraceful for her to wear a sleeveless dress, get a load of that. But I really feel sorry for Melanie Trump, she’ll be so lost, but I’m sure white America will regard her as the best thing ever, she’ll be the next Jackie O in y’all’s eyes……sad!!!

  • A Garcia

    The country knows that Melania Trump can’t write speeches, was a “model,” married an old man for his money and now lives in a 132 room penthouse with her lawsuit happy husband, not bad for an immigrant!

    • Gidget Hrobowski

      How about this: Went to University, worked at night, worked hard, Got excellent grades, earned a degree, and got an excellent job, and made something of herself. And she did it all without lying down on her back, marrying an old fart who she probably can’t stand. Not bad for an immigrant, that’s something to be proud of, not the mess you’re harping on, that’s not true happiness. And besides that, I wouldn’t want to wear her Jimmy Choo’s for a million bucks tax free.

      • A Garcia

        Agree to all!

      • Damian L

        Ummmm,no she didn’t earn a degree,more Trump ho lies.They never end.

  • Janice Archer Weaver

    Nobody seems to care that Hillary’s First Lady is a sex worker!

    • Virginia

      Bill Clinton is not Communist Comrad.

      • Janice Archer Weaver

        Bill & Hillary are students of Saul Alisky’s Social/Communist movement, so don’t claim that!

  • Chris Angel

    She was a legal immigrant, not an illegal.

    • LGB

      She was working here with a tourist visa. That is illegal

    • mimi r

      Nope. We know that now.

  • igotplans2

    All one has to do is imagine how Republicans would have reacted if Michelle Obama had such a past. Or how they would have reacted if the Obamas had stood on a convention stage with a horde of kids from three wives the way Trump did. The hypocrisy is laughable. Both Democrats and Republicans are disgustingly hypocritical. I, for one, am happy to see the parties imploding. This country needs to clean house, start from scratch, and go after the oligarchs in a coordinated fashion. The first step is to start outing the media for their lack of integrity and bias.

  • Lisa Liel

    Again with the stupid comments about Trump and immigrants. Trump has never said anything against immigrants. He’s spoken against *illegal* immigrants. Immigrants who have waited their turns and obeyed the law are sick and tired of being lumped in with those who ignore the law and do what they want.

    • LGB

      “When Mexico send their people they don’t send their best. They bring drugs, they’re rapists”… where is the word “legal” or the word “illegal”? He’s talking about ALL Mexican immigrants.

      • Lisa Liel

        If I say “I will never vote for Hillary Clinton”, would it be reasonable to quote the last four words and say, “Lisa Liel said: Vote for Hillary Clinton”? Technically, it’d be true, but really, it’d be a complete lie.

        The same thing is true here. Trump accused Mexico of deliberately emptying their jails and sending their undesirables across the border. When he talks about them “sending their people”, he isn’t talking about people who apply for US residency or citizenship. He’s talking about the people that Mexico helps over the border in the dead of night.

        • mimi r

          You thick. The WHOLE REST OF THE COUNTRY realizes who he is. Ok.. those with educations.

          • Lisa Liel

            Which I’m guessing does not include you. God, your comments look like they’re at a third grade level.

        • LGB

          Hahaha. That makes even less sense. Mexican goverment deliverately sending criminals? Helping them to cross the border “in the dead of the night” hahahaha. Can’t stop laughing at that idiocy! They would have to catch them first! Any person with two working neurones would know that’s some bs there …and then what about the “and some, I asume, are good people”? Some of the criminals are good people? I thought you people were racists, I guess you’re just idiots. I (a Mexican legal resident) was mad at the racism…now I’m really amused. Thank you for that.

    • mimi r

      Immigrants illegal or not saying they are criminmals, blocking specific religious groups. Yea. He is racustom scum.

  • Alius Umbra

    Melania potentially being a former prostitute is the LEAST of our concerns, folks.

    • mimi r

      It speaks to the low life scum trump is.

  • Weather Man

    Bella Robinson said:
    “Melanie shouldn’t be ashamed of being a former sex worker. She should be ashamed for staying in a marriage with a whoreaphobic, racist husband.”
    And I must agree. Boycott Trump.

    • Nondem

      Whoreaphobic? Trump? Really? What about Bill Clinton ? He cheated on Hilary so many times that’s what I call whoreaphobic! And they Both lie can’t trust either one of them . you must like the way this country is to vote for Clinton’s if I was a Democrat I would be ashamed! I was I changed parties because America needs to be great again!

      • Bella Robinson

        The article isn’t about the clintons, it is about the fact that Melanie has done sex work because nude girl on girl photo shoots are legally considered pornography, which makes her a sex worker, and yet Melanie stood silently when Trump threw sex workers under the bus. Melanie should have used her position to stand up for sex worker rights.

      • mimi r

        So Melania getting paid and bills consensual are the same. ? Nope. Bills business was between he and his w if and they dealt with it. Melania committed a crime being paid for sex. That is probably why she married trump. Willing to do it for the money.

      • Diane Hinkle

        I’d be ashamed to admit I’m a trump supporter. And it really slays me that a serial liar like trump has the balls to accuse anyone else of lying. And great again? What’s your idea of “great?” Before women had the right to vote? Before we had SS and Medicare? Or medicaid? Or before the civil rights movement? Or before fair housing? Or before we had an EPA or FDA? Maybe you’d like to go back to the days of slavery.

  • Virginia

    Donald Trump is running for president, not his wife. Trying to make her seem like a bimbo is not her true essence. Slovenia is very near Communist Russia. Their comrad Vlad should know what female operatives do to achieve state goals.

    • Gidget Hrobowski

      Imagine that, you stated she is running for president, but white America took pot shots at Michelle and her children and her mother, they didn’t run president either.

      • Virginia

        Either you misread or misquoted what I said. I said Trumps wife is not running for president. I think Michelle Obama is a very classy lady as must be her Mother since Michelle Obama has been a model for all women to admire. The people who have taken “pot shots” at the Obama’s daughters as well as First Lady and her mother show their lack manners. Please take note of the rest of what I wrote and you will realize I am not complimenting either Trump or his wife.

        • Gidget Hrobowski

          Oop, my bad!!! Sorry Virginia, I apologize.

          • Virginia

            Accepted. Just wanted you to realize I am not a Trumpette.

  • Javier

    I second talking money.

  • Talking Monkey

    I would vote for Melania, not for her John.

  • Martin Horowitz

    Evita Peron was a Sex Worker, It didn’t Stop her from becoming 1st Lady of Argentina and the Subject of a Broadway play…

    • Gidget Hrobowski

      Michelle Obama was an attorney, but they cruified her. I guess most people favor women with very little education and bad reputations.

      • Melvin Lee

        Also lost her license and help start the housing bubble by suing banks

        • Gidget Hrobowski

          Dude, you’re incorrect, President Obama and Mrs. Obama, both retired their licences, and she specifically never lost her law license, the reason she retired it because she took on the role as first lady. Bill Clinton retired his license as well when he was President. That is false nonsense has been on GOP web sites forever. Therefore, she has nothing to do with housing

      • mimi r

        Exactly. REPUBLICANS are hypocrites.

    • mimi r

      We are not argentina.

  • Elizabeth

    All my friends on the religious right should perhaps have another read of the New Testament. If I remember right that fella Jesus had some things to say about sex workers…

    • Alius Umbra

      Nuu Testament? Whut Nuu Testament? MAH Jesus drank beer, packed guns, cursed out Leftist queers ‘n whores! (Also, I don’t care what the Bible actually says, I’m just gonna repeat what my racist bigoted homophobic Puritan hypocritical church leader cherry-picked out from it, since I am functionally illiterate & can’t be bothered to learn anything)… Cuz ‘MURRICA!!!!!!

      -Average Religious Right Winger

    • Gidget Hrobowski

      But those sex workers were believers in Jesus Christ and didn’t have Trump for a husband, so do me a favor, please don’t make Mrs. Trump a comparison.

  • Bella Robinson

    Melanie shouldn’t be ashamed of being a former sex worker. She should be ashamed for staying in a marriage with a whoreaphobic, racist husband.

    • Trinity4

      Hillary has stayed in a marriage with an adulterous rapists husband that is possible dying from AIDS, (Orgy Island and the Lolita express come to mind, did anybody said Lewinsky?)
      That’s way worst!

      • Bella Robinson

        The article isn’t about HILLARY. We already know Hillary doesn’t support sex worker rights

    • Janice Archer Weaver

      And as well Hillary should!

  • Jenn Nixon