The New York Times Company
Mary Trump, whose pending tell-all memoir about her uncle President Donald Trump has sparked a court fight on the eve of publication, spoke out for the first time publicly about the battle, saying her book has “deep national relevance” and that the legal contract the family has sought to use this month to stop its release was based on fraud.
Nearly 20 years ago, Mary Trump, 55, signed a complicated settlement agreement with Donald Trump and his two siblings that put an end to a spat about the will of the family patriarch, the president’s father, Fred Trump Sr. Among the agreement’s provisions was a confidentiality clause that shielded the details of the pact and allowed Mary Trump to keep her share of her inheritance.
But in an affidavit filed in New York on Thursday night in the fight over the book, Trump said that she consented to the agreement — and signed away her interests in several family properties — only because Donald Trump and his siblings lied to her about how much they were worth.
“I relied on the 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 wrote. “I never believed that the settlement agreement resolving discrete financial disputes could possibly restrict me from telling the story of my life or publishing a book.”
The dispute began last week when Donald Trump’s brother, Robert Trump, petitioned a probate judge in New York City to halt the publication of Mary Trump’s book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” which is set to be released in late July.
After the judge denied the request because his court lacked jurisdiction, Robert Trump tried again to stop the release with a second motion filed in Dutchess County, New York.
On Tuesday, a Dutchess County judge, Hal B. Greenwald, temporarily halted publication, even though the book has already been printed — and is a prepublication bestseller on Amazon, according to its publisher, Simon & Schuster.
Then on Wednesday, a New York appeals court judge reversed Greenwald’s decision, ruling that Simon & Schuster could go ahead with its plans for publication.
Robert Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.