President Donald Trump’s niece says that the non-disclosure agreement she signed 19 years ago under an inheritance settlement with her family does not restrict her from writing a tell-all book about her uncle.
Mary L. Trump defended her forthcoming book, ‘Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man’, in an affidavit filed Thursday, a day after a federal appeals court lifted a temporary restraining order blocking its publication by Simon & Schuster.
Mary, a psychologist, is asking the New York Supreme Court to lift a restraining order against her, arguing that the confidentiality agreement she signed nearly two decades ago to end a dispute over her grandfather Fred Trump Sr’s will was an unenforceable fraud.
She claims that at the time of the signing she believed the asset amounts described in the agreement were accurate, but later learned the valuations were false in a New York Times expose.
Mary further said she ‘never believed’ the agreement would bar her telling her ‘life story’ – which now includes ‘the conduct and character of my uncle, the sitting President of the United States, during his campaign for re-election’.
She also suggested that the agreement is irrelevant because President Trump ‘has spoken out about our family and the will dispute on numerous occasions’.
‘None of the parties to the Settlement Agreement, including my uncles Donald Trump and Robert Trump, or my aunt Maryanne Trump, has ever sought my permission to speak publicly about our family or their personal relationships with me, my brother Fred, or among each other,’ the affidavit states.
President Donald Trump’s niece Mary L. Trump (left) says that the confidentiality clause she agreed to 19 years ago under an inheritance settlement with her family does not restrict her from writing her tell-all book (right) about her uncle
Mary’s lawyers asserted that it’s obvious the president and his family ‘do not want the American public to hear’ their client’s story, but said that ‘the First Amendment, ordinary rules of contract law, and bedrock equitable principles defeat Plaintiff’s extraordinary and unwarranted request for injunctive relief’.
The Trump family feud came to light last month after reports emerged that Mary had written a bombshell book describing a ‘nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse’, according to the blurb.
It is also expected to reveal that Mary was the primary source of the Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into Trump’s tax history.
That report, published in October 2018, found that the president received more than $400million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire and had been involved in ‘fraudulent’ tax schemes – crushing his image as a self-made man.
Mary’s book is due to hit stores nationwide on July 28 and is already ranked number one on Amazon’s bestseller list.
President Trump’s brother Robert filed court documents last month to block the book’s publication and secured a temporary restraining order against Mary and Simon & Schuster.
But on Wednesday the court lifted the restraining order against the publisher – claiming that, unlike Mary, the company was not bound by a confidentiality agreement and was therefore within their rights to publish the book.
Mary said she ‘never believed’ the confidentiality agreement would bar her telling her ‘life story’ – which now includes ‘the conduct and character of my uncle, the sitting President of the United States, during his campaign for re-election’. Trump is pictured at a rally on June 20
‘While Ms Trump unquestionably possesses the same First Amendment expressive rights belonging to all Americans, she also possesses the right to enter into contracts, including the right to contract away her First Amendment rights,’ Presiding Judge Alan D. Scheinkman wrote in his ruling on the appeal.
‘Unlike Ms Trump, Simon & Schuster has not agreed to surrender or relinquish any of its First Amendment rights.’
Simon & Schuster responded to the appeal in a statement on Wednesday saying: ‘We support Mary L. Trump’s right to tell her story in Too Much and Never Enough, a work of great interest and importance to the national discourse that fully deserves to be published for the benefit of the American public.’
The publisher has claimed they were not aware Mary had signed a confidentiality agreement.
Mary’s lawyers argued in Thursday’s affidavit that her restraining order should be lifted as well, writing that Robert Trump ‘cannot succeed on the merits of his contractual claims because the confidentiality provision in the decades-old Settlement Agreement of financial disputes that Plaintiff invokes is unenforceable and inapplicable’.
Mary and her brother Fred III filed suit against the president, his younger brother Robert and their sister Maryanne in 2000 for wrongful termination of medical benefits and coverage. When Fred Sr died in 1999, Mary and her brother Fred Trump III challenged his will because they claimed that the Trump family exerted undue influence to cut them out. Donald, Robert and Maryanne Trump are pictured together in 1990
Judge Hal B. Greenwald at the Dutchess County Court sided with Robert Trump on Tuesday, ordering Simon & Schuster to refrain from ‘publishing, printing or distributing’ any copies of the book ahead of a hearing on July 10.
Justice Sheinkman, however, said terms of Mary’s confidentiality agreement could have changed due to her uncle’s position as president.
Mary is one of two children by Fred Trump Jr (pictured), the president’s older brother who died in 1981 after battling alcoholism.
‘The legitimate interest in preserving family secrets may be one thing for the family of a real estate developer, no matter how successful. It is another matter for the family of the president of the United States,’ he said.
Although the restraining order has been lifted, the Trump family is expected to continue with their battle for an injunction.
The Trumps have claimed that they will suffer ‘irreparable harm’ if the book is published, and that Mary breached her non-disclosure agreement by writing it.
Mary is one of two children by Fred Trump Jr, the President’s older brother who died in 1981 in his early 40s after battling alcoholism.
When Fred Sr died in 1999, Mary and her brother Fred Trump III challenged his will because they claimed that the Trump family exerted undue influence to cut them out.
Mary claimed in a lawsuit that in retaliation the Trumps ended healthcare for her side of the family.
In the application for the restraining order the Trumps say that everything was resolved in 2001 under a ‘global’ agreement.
Read Mary Trump’s full affidavit below: