In response, Mary Trump and her publisher said the requested restraining order amounted to censorship

By Sean Neumann
June 24, 2020 06:33 PM
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Days after Donald Trump's administration tried and failed to block the release of his former National Security Advisor John Bolton's new memoir, the president's brother Robert Trump has sued niece Mary Trump in an attempt to stop her own tell-all, PEOPLE confirms.

Mary's soon-to-be-released Too Much and Never Enough will be, according to her publisher, a "revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him."

The book is also expected to confirm Mary as a key source in a New York Times investigation of Trump family finances published in 2018, for which she provided confidential documents.

Too Much and Never Enough, subtitled "How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man," is due out July 28.

But Trump's brother Robert filed a request for a temporary restraining order against Mary and Simon & Schuster, which also published Bolton's recent memoir.

The New York Times first reported that Robert had filed the request in Queens County Surrogate’s Court on Tuesday.

In the filing, obtained by PEOPLE, Robert's attorney Charles Harder asks the court to stop Mary's book on the basis that the memoir violates a 2001 confidentiality agreement she signed with other immediate members of the Trump family.

The nondisclosure agreement she signed was concerning a past legal battle over her grandfather Fred Trump Sr.'s will, the filing states. (The Trump patriarch died in 1999.)

In response, Mary and her publisher said the requested restraining order amounted to censorship.

“President Trump and his siblings are seeking to suppress a book that will discuss matters of utmost public importance," attorney Theodore Boutros Jr., who is representing Mary Trump, said in a statement.

"They are pursuing this unlawful prior restraint because they do not want the American people to know the truth," Boutros said. "The courts will not tolerate this brazen effort to squelch speech in violation of the First Amendment.”

A spokesman for publisher Simon & Schuster said separately: "As the plaintiff and his attorney well know, the courts take a dim view of prior restraint, and this attempt to block publication will meet the same fate as those that have gone before."

From left: Robert Trump and Mary Trump
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage; Mary Trump/Twitter
Simon & Schuster

President Trump, 74, recently told the political website Axios that Mary was "not allowed to write a book" because of the nondisclosure agreement signed as a result of the tense legal conflict within the family, spurred by what Mary and her brother argued was "fraud and undue influence" by their aunts and uncles over the will.

The bulk of Trump Sr.'s money was left to his four living children, including Robert and the president, rather than a fifth portion for the children of the late Fred Trump Jr., who died in 1981. Instead, according to previous reports, both Mary and her brother, Fred Trump III received $200,000.

As part of their original estate conflict, the health insurance that Trump III was using to care for his young son, who had serious health complications including seizures and cerebral palsy, was cut off until a judge intervened.

"When [Fred III] sued us, we said, 'Why should we give him medical coverage?' " President Trump told The New York Daily News at the time.

The president has since said the matter was "very amicably" settled.

Mary, 55, was quoted in that same Daily News article about the fight over the will but has largely avoided the public since. Her publisher says she is a clinical psychologist who has a daughter; public records indicate she lives on Long Island, New York.

The five Trump siblings, including Donald Trump

In a statement given to the Times this week, Robert Trump said his niece's decision to write a tell-all was "truly a disgrace."

“Her attempt to sensationalize and mischaracterize our family relationship after all of these years for her own financial gain is both a travesty and injustice to the memory of my late brother, Fred, and our beloved parents,” Robert said. “I and the rest of my entire family are so proud of my wonderful brother, the president, and feel that Mary’s actions are truly a disgrace.”

Robert's attorney did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Mary's memoir will, according to her publisher, describe "a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse" within the Trump family.

"She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who currently occupies the Oval Office, including the strange and harmful relationship between Fred Trump and his two oldest sons, Fred Jr. and Donald," her publisher said.

A spokesman for Simon & Schuster said this week that she "has written a compelling personal story of worldwide significance, and we look forward to helping her tell her story."