- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A New York Times writer who was called out this week by supermodel Emily Ratajkowski for reportedly calling first lady Melania Trump a “hooker” has come forward to apologize.

Jacob Bernstein, a feature writer at The New York Times, took to Twitter Tuesday to “take ownership” for a remark he made over the weekend at a New York Fashion Week event.

“I want to take ownership of a mistake I made,” Mr. Bernstein, son of Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein, wrote in a four-part tweet. “Speaking at a party in what I thought was a personal conversation, I nevertheless made a stupid remark about the first lady.

“My editors have made it clear my behavior was not in keeping with the standards of the Times, and I agree,” he wrote. “My mistake, referring to unfounded rumors, shouldn’t reflect on anyone else and I apologize profusely.”

Mr. Bernstein’s offending comment was first reported by Ms. Ratajkowski, who didn’t give his name in a series of tweets defending the first lady.

“Sat next to a journalist from the NYT last night who told me ‘Melania is a hooker,’ ” the model claimed. “Whatever your politics it’s crucial to call this out for what it is: slut shaming. I don’t care about her nudes or sexual history and no one should.”

Mrs. Trump, a former model, took to Twitter Tuesday evening to thank Ms. Ratajkowski and others for their support.

“Applause to all women around the world who speak up, stand up and support other women! @emrata #PowerOfEveryWoman #PowerOfTheFirstLady,” the first lady wrote.

The New York Times said in a statement Tuesday that the reporter was reprimanded for the remark.

“At a party last night, a Times reporter who does not cover Washington or politics, referred to an unfounded rumor regarding Melania Trump,” a Times spokesperson said. “The comment was not intended to be public, but it was nonetheless completely inappropriate and should not have occurred. Editors have talked to the reporter in question about the lapse.”

Mrs. Trump is currently suing British tabloid The Daily Mail for publishing a story that included the unfounded claim that she had once been an escort.

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