Mary L. Trump, the author of an explosive book about her uncle President Donald Trump, asked a court to lift a restraining order against her, saying in an affidavit filed Thursday that she was misled by the family into signing a confidentiality agreement in an inheritance case two decades ago.
Her request, filed with the New York Supreme Court, follows a decision by the court’s appellate division on Wednesday to lift a restraining order against Simon & Schuster, allowing publication of the book to go forward. That court left in place a restraining order against Mary Trump.
The affidavit marks the first time Mary Trump has commented publicly about her book, as well as her allegation that she was misled when signing the confidentiality agreement.
In her affidavit, Mary Trump said she “never believed” the confidentiality agreement in the inheritance case could restrict from writing a book about “the conduct and character of my uncle, the sitting President of the United States, during his campaign for reelection.” She said she decided that writing a book was necessary after her uncle was elected president.
The book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” has climbed to the top of bestseller lists based on preorders and is slated to be published July 28.
Mary Trump said in her affidavit that, in agreeing to the inheritance settlement, she relied on asset valuations of the family estate provided to her by Donald Trump and his siblings that she said have since been proven to be inaccurate.
“I relied on false valuations provided to me by my uncles and aunt, and would never have entered into the Agreement had I known the true value of the assets involved,” she said. She said the inaccuracy of the valuations were revealed in a 2018 investigation by the New York Times of family finances.
Simon & Schuster said in a filing with the court that Mary Trump told the publishing company she was a source for the Times investigation. Mary Trump did not mention that role in her affidavit.
Mary Trump said that President Trump and his brother, Robert – who filed the petition to stop the book’s publication – have made multiple public comments about the family without asking her permission.
“My uncle, President Trump, has spoken out about our family and the will dispute on numerous occasions,” she said.
Robert Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, did not respond to a request for comment.
A key element of the book is expected to be the impact of the death of Mary Trump’s father, Fred Jr. – President Trump’s older brother – from an alcohol-related illness when she was 16 years old in 1981. President Trump told The Washington Post in an interview last year that he regretted pushing his brother to go into the family business.
Mary Trump, 55, and her brother Fred III, argued during an inheritance dispute two decades ago that they did not receive the amount they expected upon the death of their grandfather, Fred Trump Sr. They were allocated a significantly lesser amount than what would have gone to their father, if he had lived, according to court papers.
(c) 2020, The Washington Post · Michael Kranish