Details have emerged of a deal between Getty Images and Melania Trump, in which the latter benefited financially from a sum of at least $100,000 in an agreement that also saw the Trump family’s images used only in positive news stories.
The deal — including a sum said to be anywhere between $100,000 and $1,000,000 — has garnered attention after being noted within President Trump’s latest financial disclosure, which shows that Getty Images licensed a 187-photo series of the Trump family. The photos were taken between 2010 and 2016 by Belgian photographer Regine Mahaux. The earnings from the Getty deal stem from 2017 alone.
Peculiar about the arrangement is that in choosing to purchase any of the images via Getty, news organizations agree it must be within “positive [news] stories only,” a move that has drawn criticism. It’s not entirely unusual for someone in the public eye to seek such an agreement, but it’s rare to hear of this type of agreement involving the First Lady.
There’s no legal requirement for federal officials to share precise details of their income, but rather, an “income range,” hence the vague figure brackets of Melania’s earnings. NBC News reports that both Getty and the White House declined offers to provide an insight into exactly how much had been paid to the Trumps, or where images had been used, although Yahoo, the Daily Mail, and Marie Claire are all confirmed outlets who have, be it perhaps unknowingly, indirectly paid the first family for usage of the images.
Is this another clear example of ongoing media manipulation?
Lead image by EJ Hersom for DoD News and used under Creative Commons.