#parent | #kids | Explained: Why the Trump family is trying to block a book by US President’s niece

Written by Rahel Philipose
, Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |

Updated: June 26, 2020 3:35:13 pm


US President Donald Trump leaves the stage after speaking at an event at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Marinette, Wis. (AP Photo: Morry Gash)
US President Donald Trump’s brother has requested for a temporary restraining order against his niece Mary Trump, in an attempt to halt the publication of her upcoming book based on her family — ‘Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man’.

Robert Trump, the US President’s younger brother, filed the complaint in a state court in Queens, New York, on Tuesday, claiming that the book violated a non-disclosure agreement Mary had signed in 2001 during a legal battle over the Trump family estate, The New York Times reported.

According to Mary’s publisher Simon & Schuster, the book offers a “revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him.”

Mary has explained “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,” a description on the publisher’s website reads.

In a statement to The New York Times, Robert Trump said he was “deeply disappointed” by his niece’s decision to publish the book. “Her attempt to sensationalise and mischaracterise 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,” he said.

“President Trump and his siblings are seeking to suppress a book that will discuss matters of utmost public importance. They are pursuing this unlawful prior restraint because they do not want the public to know the truth. The courts will not tolerate this brazen violation of the First Amendment,” Mary Trump’s lawyer Ted Boutros said in a statement.

Who is Mary Trump?

Mary is the daughter of Donald Trump’s late brother Fred Trump Jr, who suffered from alcoholism and died in 1981 at the age of 42. Fred was famously known to have renounced the Trump family real-estate business and instead chose to work for Trans World Airlines.

According to her bio on the Simon & Schuster website, Mary holds a PhD in Advanced Psychological Studies and has taught graduate courses in trauma, psychopathology, and developmental psychology. At present, she lives with her daughter in New York.

In her upcoming book, Mary has reportedly admitted to being the primary source for The New York Times’ Pulitzer-winning 2018 exposé on the US President’s finances. She has also blamed her uncle for being negligent and abandoning her father when he needed him. The New York Times is yet to confirm Mary’s claims.

Also in Explained : Why Donald Trump wants to block former NSA John Bolton’s book
Donald Trump Book on Trump, Mary Trump, Trump book, Indian Express The cover of ‘Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man’. (Photo courtesy: simonandschuster.com)

The 2001 court settlement

When their grandfather Fred Trump Sr died in 1999, Mary and her brother Fred Trump III contested his will — which left them with a significantly smaller portion of his fortune than that bestowed upon his other grandchildren. Mary and Fred fought in court to receive their father’s share of the inheritance, which they believed was rightfully theirs.

The Trump family was embroiled in a nasty legal battle — where at one point Donald Trump cut off Mary and Fred from the family’s health insurance plan. This was at a time when Fred’s infant son was coping with severe neurological complications that required expensive medical treatment.

The lawsuit was settled two years later, and an undisclosed sum was paid to both of Fred Trump Jr’s children. According to Robert Trump, it was while arriving at this court settlement that Mary had signed a non-disclosure agreement, which barred her from writing any books about the family.

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In a recent interview with Axios, the US President stressed the fact that Mary had allegedly signed a confidentiality agreement. “You know, when we settled with her and her brother, who I do have a good relationship with — she’s got a brother, Fred, who I do have a good relationship with — but when we settled she signed a nondisclosure,” Donald Trump said.

Trump’s response to the Bolton memoir 

Earlier this week, a US federal judge rejected a petition filed by the Trump administration to stall the publication of a memoir about the president by his former national security adviser, John Bolton. The judge maintained that while Bolton had released classified information that put the nation’s security at risk, the process of publication was already at an advanced stage and an emergency order to block it would not be justified, Bloomberg reported.

Responding to the controversy around Mary Trump’s upcoming book, Adam Rothberg, a spokesperson for Simon & Schuster, made a reference to Bolton’s case and said, “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.”

“In ‘Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,’ Mary Trump has written a compelling personal story of worldwide significance, and we look forward to helping her tell her story,” he added in his official statement.

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