New York Judge Blocks Publication of Trump Tell-All Until a July Hearing
A judge in Dutchess County, N.Y., on Tuesday temporarily blocked publication of a tell-all book by President Trump’s niece Mary L. Trump that is currently scheduled for release July 28.
Judge Hal Greenwald of the New York State Supreme Court issued the temporary restraining order until a hearing on July 10 to decide whether Ms. Trump’s book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” violated a confidentiality agreement she signed with other members of the Trump family in connection with a dispute over the estate of Fred Trump Sr., the president’s father.
The judge acted in response to a court action filed by Robert S. Trump, the president’s brother, against Ms. Trump and Simon & Schuster, the book’s publisher. Ms. Trump is the daughter of Fred Trump Jr., who died in 1981 and was estranged from his family.
A lawyer for Ms. Trump, Theodore J. Boutrous, vowed to appeal the decision.
“The trial court’s temporary restraining order is only temporary, but it still is a prior restraint on core political speech that flatly violates the First Amendment,” Mr. Boutrous said. “We will immediately appeal. This book, which addresses matters of great public concern and importance about a sitting president in an election year, should not be suppressed even for one day.”
Officials at Simon & Schuster said they planned to immediately appeal the decision to the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division.
In a statement, Charles Harder, a lawyer for Robert Trump, said his client was “very pleased” with Judge Greenwald’s decision.
“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,” Mr. Harder said. “Short of corrective action to immediately cease their egregious conduct, we will pursue this case to the very end.”
Ms. Trump’s book has been described as a unique inside look at the Trump family. She is also expected to write that she was a source on an investigation by The New York Times into the president’s personal finances. The Times declined to comment.
Ms. Trump’s father, Fred Trump Jr., was the eldest of the president’s siblings. An alcoholic, he died at 41. When the family patriarch, Fred Trump Sr., died some years later, his estate essentially cut out Fred Trump Jr.’s children from any inheritance.
Ms. Trump and her brother, Fred Trump III, sued their uncles and an aunt, Maryanne, over the estate in 2000. The court battle turned ugly, with the president and his siblings cutting off medical care for Fred III’s young son, who was born with severe medical problems.
The two sides eventually settled the case, and Ms. Trump is said to have signed a confidentiality agreement. That agreement is what the Trump family is saying she is violating by moving forward with a book.
Robert Trump’s initial attempt to stop the book with the Queens County, N.Y., Surrogate’s Court, where Fred Trump Sr.’s estate was originally filed, was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.