The president's younger brother, Robert Trump, sued Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster seeking to block her book, citing a confidentiality agreement Mary had signed

By Adam Carlson
July 01, 2020 01:37 PM
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New court filings in Mary Trump's fight to publish a tell-all about her uncle President Donald Trump detail the behind-the-scenes process of how her book came together — and confirm that she was a key leak for a New York Times investigation about her family's finances.

On Tuesday Mary's publisher, Simon & Schuster, filed its arguments on behalf of publishing her memoir, Too Much and Never Enough, which had been scheduled for publication on July 28.

The president's younger brother, Robert Trump, sued Mary and Simon & Schuster in June seeking to block the book, citing a confidentiality agreement Mary signed in connection with a decades-old fight over family patriarch Fred Trump Sr.'s estate.

The publisher had said that Mary's account would be a "revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him."

According to Simon & Schuster she is a clinical psychologist with a PhD in psychology from Adelphi University and has a daughter; records show she is 55 and lives on Long Island, New York.

Other than the feud over Trump Sr.'s will in 2000 — chronicled at the time by The New York Daily News — Mary has avoided the media spotlight. Her father, Fred Trump Jr., is the president’s older brother. He died in 1981.

A New York judge on Tuesday granted Robert a temporary injunction, halting Mary's book at least until a July 10 hearing on the matter. In a previous statement, Robert called the book a "disgrace."

Both Mary's attorney and Simon & Schuster vowed to appeal.

In its filings later Tuesday, the latter laid out a First Amendment case against what it called unconstitutional prior restraint of a book in the public interest.

Further, Simon & Schuster argued it was not a party to Mary's 2001 confidentiality agreement, of which it said it had no knowledge until approximately two weeks ago.

From left: Robert Trump and Mary Trump
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage; Mary Trump/Twitter
Front cover of Mary Trump's soon-to-be-released tell-all, "Too Much and Never Enough"
Simon & Schuster

"Ms. Trump has a story to tell about her family, her personal experiences with, and insights into, the President of the United States, and the dubious financial dealings that provided the foundations for the President’s real estate empire," Simon & Schuster's attorney argued in a Tuesday filing. "The American public has a right to information about the President’s claimed wealth—particularly as he has repeatedly touted his wealth as a credential for his presidency. A twenty-year-old Settlement Agreement to which Simon & Schuster is not bound should not interfere with the public’s right to read that information."

In a separate affidavit, the company's CEO, Jonathan Karp, described the publication process for Mary's book.

In his affidavit, Karp confirmed previous reports about the contents of the memoir, including her role as the “primary source” for an October 2018 Times article that, according to the paper, "found [President Trump] received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s." (The president’s attorney at the time claimed the reporting was “100 percent false.”)

Mary first approached Simon & Schuster in May 2019 with an "unsolicited proposal" via her agent, Karp's Tuesday affidavit states. He met with her on May 9 of that year and soon successfully won the publishing rights in a May 14 auction.

A publishing agreement was reached on Aug. 29, 2019, according to Karp’s affidavit and, on May 7 of this year, the manuscript was formally accepted.

Karp said in his affidavit that about 75,000 copies of Mary’s book have already been printed, "thousands of which have already been shipped," starting on June 25.

The five Trump siblings, including Donald Trump
President Donald Trump
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty

"Mary Trump will be providing valuable eyewitness source material for any historians who want to study the Trump presidency and for citizens more generally," he said in his affidavit. "Ms. Trump’s first-hand experiences are of critical importance for an informed citizenry."

In a statement this week, Robert's attorney said Robert was "very pleased" by the judge's initial ruling in his favor, until the July hearing.

"The actions of Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster are truly reprehensible," attorney Charles Harder said Tuesday. "We look forward to vigorously litigating this case, and will seek the maximum remedies available by law for the enormous damages caused by Mary Trump’s breach of contract and Simon & Schuster’s intentional interference with that contract. Short of corrective action to immediately cease their egregious conduct, we will pursue this case to the very end."