Melania Trump licensed 187 photos to Getty Images for use in “positive stories only” as part of a royalty deal that made the first lady between $100,000 and $1 million, according to a report from NBC News. As a result, many news organizations—including NBC News, Marie Claire, and the Houston Chronicle—have made “indirect” payments to the Trump family by using Getty’s photos. The deal was revealed by NBC after Trump released his 2017 financial disclosure; many outlets removed the images after they were contacted for NBC’s story. The photos, taken by Belgian photographer Regina Mahaux, showed the Trumps in luxurious and “highly stylized” portraits, NBC adds. While Melania’s arrangement is unusual, it is not illegal. Getty did not disclose that royalties would be paid to the Trumps. NBC added that most first ladies donate proceeds from book deals or similar arrangements to charity—but since Trump has not publicly commented or released his tax returns, it is impossible to know if Melania followed suit.
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