Melania Trump threatens to sue Croatian English-language school for billboard with her face

By Jose Jefferies | Sep 25, 2017
An English-language school in Croatia said that it was paying U.S. First Lady Melania Trump a compliment when it posted a billboard ad for its services that features her image, but the message was lost in translation. American Institute, based in the Croatian city of Zagreb, took the ads down under threat of a lawsuit issued by the White House.


Trump's indignation was said to be due to the message that the billboard featured below her image: "Just imagine how far you can go with a little bit of English."


The first lady reportedly took the line to be a jab at her heavily accented English. But Ivis Buric, a spokeswoman for the school, said that the billboards meant no harm. She

meant no harm. She said that they were "misunderstood as something intended to mock the U.S. first lady" when they really meant "to show her as a role model."


Buric apologized for any hurt feelings. However, she added that the billboards have gained the school an abundance of new local and global publicity and have thus proven to be "very successful."


Melania Trump is a native of Slovenia who emigrated to the United States when she was in her twenties to pursue a modeling career. Many Slovenian companies since then have placed her image onto a range of products, including cakes, ice cream, underwear, and holiday packagesall without her permission.


The first lady has hired a law firm to guard the use of her image in Slovenia. Her lawyer, Natasa Pirc-Musar, acted similarly against the Croatian school to compel it to remove the ads. And while the school has complied, Pirc-Musar said that she might still pursue additional measures against it.


"I'm satisfied with the fact that the school admitted that they violated the law and that they are ready to remove the billboards and [Facebook]ads," she said but added that "we are still analyzing possible further legal steps."


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