NBC News found that Melania Trump reportedly earned between $100,000 and $1 million in royalties because of a unique licensing agreement with Getty Images. Under the licensing agreement, the photos could only be used in “positive coverage.”
This was revealed in Trump’s most recent financial disclosure. However, the exact amount of how much Melania made is unclear. There were 187 pictures taken by Belgian photographer Regine Mahaux between 2010 and 2016 that were part of the deal.
At least 12 news organizations are said to have used some of the photos. Organizations that used the photos include Yahoo News, NBC News, Marie Claire, the Daily Mail, My San Antonio, Houston Chronicle, House Beautiful, SF Gate, and The San Francisco Chronicle.
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Some of the news organizations revealed they did not know that the photos were part of a licensing agreement that Melania profited from. Some even stated they removed the pictures once NBC told them about the deal.
There was even a photo taken by Mahaux that appeared in the 2017 calendar that was being sold at the White House gift shop. Another picture was found in the official guidebook that was handed out to delegates at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
According to Mahaux, “everything is legal,” but did not respond any more questions.
The White House also declined to reveal if the Trump family made any of the money from the deal.
This type of deal is unusual for a first lady to be a part of.
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