Mary L. Trump, whose pending memorial tale about her uncle President Trump sparked a judicial battle on the eve of the publication, spoke for the first time publicly about the battle, saying that her book has “profound national relevance” and that The legal contract that the family tried to use this month to stop his release was based on fraud.
Almost 20 years ago, Mrs. Trump, 55, signed a complicated settlement agreement with Mr. Trump and his two brothers who put an end to a harsh spit of a year on the will of the family patriarch, the father of the president, Fred Trump Sr. the provisions of the agreement were a confidentiality clause that protected the details of the pact and allowed to Mrs. Trump to keep her share of her legacy.
“I relied on the false assessments provided by my uncle and aunt and I would never have entered into the deal if I had known the true value of the businesses involved,” he wrote. “I never believed that the settlement agreement for the resolution of discreet financial disputes could prevent me from telling the story of my life or from publishing a book.”
Sworn statement by Ms. Trump and a corresponding motion from her attorney, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., were the last salvo in the fast-moving case. The dispute began last week when President Trump’s brother Robert S. Trump petitioned a tenant judge in Queens to stop publishing Mrs. Trump’s book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the Most Dangerous Man in the World,” which will be released in late July.
After the judge dismissed the request because his court was not competent, Robert Trump again attempted to end the release with a second motion filed in Dutchess County, New York.
On Tuesday, a Dutch county judge, Hal B. Greenwald, temporarily suspended publication, although the book has already been printed – and is a pre-publication best seller on Amazon, according to its publisher, Simon & Schuster.
So on Wednesday, a New York appeals court judge reversed Judge Greenwald’s decision, stating that Simon & Schuster could continue with his plans for publication but leaving the question unanswered if Ms. Trump broke her deal with his family.
In her sworn statement, Ms. Trump said she discovered what she believed to be her family’s lies when the New York Times released a sprawling investigation into the Trump family’s finances in late 2018. If she had known the truth, she wrote Boutrous, Ms. Trump would not have signed the agreement and would not have adhered to the confidentiality pact.
“Since the settlement agreement was based and fraud-induced,” concluded Boutrous, “it cannot be applied – and it cannot prevent the publication of Ms. Trump’s book.”
According to Simon & Schuster, Ms. Trump’s book will show the “dark history” of her family in an attempt to explain how President Trump “has become the man who now threatens the health, economic security and social fabric of the world.” In her Thursday evening presentation, Boutrous added that clinical psychologist Ms Trump “will speak to the president’s character and office suitability.”
Although the details of the book remain secret, the manuscript is likely to deepen the tensions of the sweet family that have divided the Trumps for years.
Mary Trump’s father, Fred Trump Jr., turned his back on his father’s real estate business, permanently moving away from him, to work for Trans World Airlines. He suffered from alcoholism and died in 1981 at the age of 42.
When Fred Trump Sr. died in 1999, he almost excluded Fred Trump Jr.’s children, Mary and his brother, Fred Trump III, from his will, leaving them with only a small cash bequest. Ms. Trump and her brother contested the will and sued Donald Trump and his brothers, claiming that they had poisoned Fred Trump Sr. against them and forced him to change the way he distributed his fortune.
In the bad judicial battle that followed, Donald Trump and his brother and sister at one point stopped the medical benefits for Fred Trump III’s newborn baby boy, who was born with serious health problems that required expensive and intense care.
The legal battle was resolved in 2001 with the settlement agreement in which Mary Trump and Fred Trump III sold their interests in various family businesses to their uncles and her brothers for an undisclosed sum. A confidentiality clause – the scope of which is currently under discussion – has been included in the document.
In his documents filed Thursday, Boutrous said it was absurd that the deal’s secrecy agreement could be construed as a “broad-life gag order” that could prevent Ms. Trump from writing about her family now. Donald Trump, as Boutrous pointed out, gave interviews about his sister, Maryanne and her brother, Fred Jr. Dozens of books, Boutrous noted, have been written about the trump, including about 20 that the president himself wrote.
In addition, Boutrous said, Ms. Trump signed the settlement agreement only because her uncle and brothers deceived her and her brother. Under the agreement, Mary and Fred Trump III signed their interests in several family real estate properties, including land leases for the Beach Haven and Shore Haven apartments considered two of the empire’s “crown jewels”. Fred Trump Sr.
Boutrous said the Trump family “deliberately and significantly underestimated” property valuations, causing Ms. Trump and her brother to accept a purchase in which they were being scammed by millions of dollars.
Robert Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.