Since her husband took office Melania Trump has earned six figures from an unusual deal with a photo agency in which major media organizations have indirectly paid the Trump family despite a requirement that the photos be used only in positive coverage, NBC News reported.
President Donald Trump's most recent financial disclosure reveals that in 2017 the first lady earned at least $100,000 from Getty Images for the use of any of a series of 187 photos of the first family shot between 2010 and 2016 by Belgian photographer Regine Mahaux.
It's not unheard of for celebrities to earn royalties from photos of themselves, but it's very unusual for the wife of a currently serving elected official. More problematic for the many news organizations that have published or broadcast the images, however, is that Getty's licensing agreement stipulates the pictures can be used in "positive stories only."
Getty Images told NBC News that the details and amounts of payments to the Trumps are covered by confidential agreements.
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Several news organizations removed the images from their websites after inquiries by NBC News; NBC's Nightly News included the images in a Nightly News segment on Melania Trump that aired July 18, 2016, during the Republican National Convention. An NBC News spokesperson said NBC News did not agree or sign a statement that the image would be used for positive coverage, and was never informed that a portion of the royalties would go to the Trump family.