President Trump told Axios news service earlier this week that Mary Trump was not allowed to write the book because she signed a non-disclosure agreement in 2001 that settled her lawsuit against him and his brothers and sisters on the legacy of his grandfather Fred Trump Sr., the presidents father. President Trump said the deal was very powerful and covered everything.
In the petition to stop publication, the president’s brother Robert Trump said that Mary Trump had agreed, as part of an estate wrestling settlement, that she would not publish any account of her relationship with Donald Trump or his siblings.
The terms of the agreement, leaked as part of the petition to stop the book, required Mary Trump not to publish directly or indirectly any account of her relationship with the Trump family, unless she had permission from Donald Trump and of his siblings. The terms of this agreement had not previously been made public.
The application was filed with the Queens County Surrogates Court in New York.
Mary Trumps’ lawyer, Theodore Boutrous Jr., said in a statement that the family’s efforts to restrict the publication should be abandoned.
President Trump and his siblings are looking to delete a book that will address issues of critical importance to the public, he said. They are pursuing this illegal prior restriction because they do not want the public to know the truth. Courts will not tolerate this cheeky violation of the First Amendment.
President Trump and his allies have made or threatened numerous efforts to block the books of journalists and former staff, and his administration has not recently succeeded in stopping the publication of the highly critical memoirs of the former adviser to national security John Boltons, The Room Where It Happened, published Tuesday by Simon & Schuster.
But an effort to stop publication by a family member is unprecedented and is sure to attract even more attention. In the case of Bolton’s book, the content had already been released and the volumes printed by the time Trump attempted to arrest him. In the case of the book Mary Trumps, its content remains closely monitored by the publisher and it is not certain that printing has started.
Julia Prosser, spokesperson for Simon & Schuster, said in a statement that the courts have a mixed view of the previous restrictions, and this attempt to block the publication will suffer the same fate as those which preceded it. In Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created The Most Dangerous Man In The World, Mary Trump wrote a fascinating personal story of global significance, and we look forward to helping her tell her story.
The New York Times first reported that the Trump family was seeking a restraining order against the book.
Robert Trump could not be reached for comment. His lawyer, Charles J. Harder, provided a statement from Robert Trump that said: I am deeply disappointed with my niece Marys’ decision to write a book about our family. His attempt to sensationalize and mis characterize our family relationship after all these years for his own financial gain is both a travesty and an injustice in memory of my late brother Fred and our beloved parents. I and the rest of my entire family are so proud of my wonderful brother, the President, and think that Mary’s actions are truly a shame.
Mary Trump has long disagreed with her family. Her father, Fred Trump Jr., was an alcoholic who died at the age of 16. Friends of his father told the Washington Post last year that they had questions about whether the family did not help him and whether they could have prevented his death.
President Trump, in an interview with The Post last year, said he had made mistakes in his dealings with his brother, saying he regretted trying to get Fred Jr. into the business. family business instead of becoming an airline pilot.
I regret putting pressure on him, Trump said in a rare acknowledgment of an error.
Mary Trump and her brother Fred Trump III sued Donald and Robert Trump and another brother, alleging that they had not received the inheritance they believed had been promised. Donald Trump responded by cutting medical assistance to the son of Fred III, who has cerebral palsy. Trump told the New York Daily News at the time that when he and his siblings were chased by Mary and Fred III, we said: why should we give [Fred IIIs son William] medical cover?
At the time, Mary Trump was angry at the way the family treated her and her brother.
Given this family, it would be utterly naive to say that it has nothing to do with money, she told the New York Daily News in 2000.
The president said in an interview with The Post that after the trial was over, we all got along. Mary Trumps’s book, if published, will apparently tell a different story.
Alice Crites contributed to this report.
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