Melania Trump’s nude photos surface

Critics say publication of Mrs Trump's nude photos a mere 'distraction'
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Melania Trump nude photos New York Post
Melania Trump appears on stage after U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. Reuters/Jim Young

United States’ potential First Lady is on the spotlight again. This time around, Melania Trump lands the front page of New York Post with her nude photo.

After being assailed for her plagiarised Republican National Convention speech and inaccuracies on her online biography, Melania made headlines again as the former model’s nude photos spread like wild fire on social media after being published Sunday.

The New York Post obtained the photos exclusively from French photographer Ale de Basseville, who shot the nude photos of the 25-year-old Melania Knauss in 1995. One of Melania’s nude photos appeared on the January 1996 issue of the now-defunct Max magazine.

Sought for comment, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump only dismissed the nudity photos as “very fashionable and common.”

“Melania was one of the most successful models and she did many photo shoots, including for covers and major magazines. This was a picture taken for a European magazine prior to my knowing Melania. In Europe, pictures like this are very fashionable and common,” he said.

Melania met Trump in a party during the New York Fashion Week in 1998. The couple tied the knot in 2005 in Palm Beach, Florida. Before marrying Melania, Trump’s previous wives were also models -- Ivana Zelníčková and Marla Maples.

Echoing Trump’s statement, Jason Miller, Trump’s campaign’s senior communications adviser, told CNN, “There is nothing to be embarrassed about. She’s a beautiful woman.”

"They're a celebration of the human body as art," Miller said, referring to the nudity photos. “These were photos that are 20 years old, before Mrs Trump met Mr Trump."

The New York Post has formally endorsed Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy in April. Its publication of Melania’s nude photos has been interpreted by some critics as a tactic to distract the public about Trump’s apparently racist reaction towards Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a Muslim American war hero, Army Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan, who was killed in action in Iraq. During the Democratic National Convention, the Khans denounced Trump, saying the businessman-turned-politician has “sacrificed nothing and no one.”

For one, Emily Nussbaum, a television critic for the New Yorker, said on Twitter, “The Melania pics are a sexist nothingburger story meant to distract us from real stuff like what Trump said regarding the Khans.”

To recall, Trump retaliated on Mr Khan's speech, saying, "I was viciously attacked by Mr Khan at the Democratic Convention. Am I not allowed to respond? Hillary voted for the Iraq war, not me!"