Melania Trump: New York Times reporter apologises to First Lady for calling her a 'hooker'

The journalist made the comments in private at a party but Emily Ratajkowski publicly ousted them

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The Independent US

A New York Times reporter has owned up to calling Melania Trump a “hooker” and apologised for his remarks.

Jacob Bernstein said he wanted to “take ownership” of the gaffe and explained the comment was based on “unfounded rumours”. 

Bernstein made the remarks to Emily Ratajkowski at a New York Fashion Week event on Sunday assuming the conversation would remain private. But Ratajkowski, an actress and model, publicly ousted his comments on Twitter on Monday.

“Sat next to a journalist from the NYT last night who told me ‘Melania is a hooker’. Whatever your politics it’s crucial to call this out for what it is: slut shaming,” Ratajkowski, a vocal feminist and Bernie Sanders supporter, wrote on Twitter.

“I don’t care about her nudes or sexual history and no one should. Gender specific attacks are disgusting sexist bulls***.”

Ms Trump responded to Ratajkowski’s defence of her via the official First Lady Twitter account, writing: “Applause to all women around the world who speak up, stand up and support other women!”

The New York Times responded to the furore but did not name the journalist who had made the remark, simply saying they had been reprimanded. 

The paper's spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said the reporter had “referred to an unfounded rumour” regarding Ms Trump and editors had spoken to them about the mistake. “The comment was not intended to be public, but it was nonetheless completely inappropriate and should not have occurred,” she said.

Bernstein, a features writer at the the Times and the son of screenwriter Nora Ephron and journalist Carl Bernstein, admitted to his gaffe on Twitter on Tuesday.

"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 wrote.

“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".

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