Simon & Schuster Can Move Forward With Plans To Publish Tell-All Book By Donald Trump’s Niece, Appellate Judge Rules

By Ted Johnson, Erik Pedersen

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UPDATED: Simon & Schuster can move forward with plans to publish a tell-all book by President Donald Trump’s niece Mary Trump, as an appellate judge overturned a lower court ruling that had temporarily halted publication.

Her book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, is scheduled to be released on July 28.

The judge, Alan D. Scheinkman, still left in place a restraining order against Mary Trump, but wrote that the order should not include Simon & Schuster as it was not a party to her non-disclosure agreement.

In 2001, Mary Trump had signed the confidentiality agreement as part of the settlement of the estate of her grandfather, Fred Trump Sr. When it as revealed last month that she was about to publish her book, Robert Trump, the president’s brother, went to court to stop it.

On Tuesday, a New York trial court judge, Hal Greenwald, issued a restraining order against Mary Trump and the publisher, halting publication of the book until at least July 10, when a hearing is scheduled on whether to issue a temporary injunction.

“It is very good news that the prior restraint against Simon & Schuster has been vacated, and we look forward to filing our brief tomorrow in the trial court explaining why the same result is required as to Ms. Trump, based on the First Amendment and basic contract law,” said Theodore Boutrous, who is representing Mary Trump.

Scheinkman wrote that it remains to be determined whether Mary Trump’s book would be a violation of the non-disclosure agreement, citing the change in the family’s circumstances.

“Drawing the appropriate balance may well require in camera review of the book sought to be enjoined,” he wrote. “Stated differently, the legitimate interest in preserving family secrets may be one thing for the family of a real estate developer, no matter how successful; it is another matter for the family of the President of the United States.”

UPDATED, 10:45 AM: A New York judge has issued a temporary restraining order blocking the release of a tell-all book by the niece of President Donald Trump. Today’s ruling by Judge Hal Greenwald of the New York State Supreme Court answers a claim by Robert Trump, the president’s brother, who has argued that Mary Trump’s book violates a nondisclosure pact that was part of their father Fred Trump’s estate following his 1999 death.

“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,” Mary Trump’s attorney Theodore J. Boutrous Jr said in a statement to Deadline. “We will immediately appeal. This book, which addresses matters of great public concern and importance about a sitting president in election year, should not be suppressed even for one day.”

Last week, after a judge in Queens County Surrogate’s Court ruled that the case had been filed in the wrong jurisdiction, Robert Trump’s attorney refiled it. The book, which is expected to describe unflattering details about the Trump family, is set to be published July 28 by Simon & Schuster. Read details about the case and the book below.

PREVIOUSLY, June 25:: A New York judge has dismissed a legal motion brought by Donald Trump’s brother Robert to try to stop the release of an upcoming tell-all memoir from Mary Trump, the president’s niece.

The judge in Queens County Surrogate’s Court, Peter Kelly, ruled that the case was filed in the wrong jurisdiction. (Read his ruling here). Robert Trump’s attorney indicated that they would refile the case in New York State Supreme Court.

The book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, is to be published by Simon & Schuster on July 28 and is expected to describe unflattering details about the family.

“The court has promptly and correctly held that it lacks jurisdiction to grant the Trump’s family’s baseless request to suppress a book of utmost public importance and concern,’ said Mary Trump’s attorney, Theodore Boutrous of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. “Democracy thrives on the free exchange of ideas, and neither this court nor any other has authority to violate the Constitution by imposing a prior restraint on core political speech.”

In the advance publicity for the book, the publisher said that Mary Trump “shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric.”

On Tuesday, Robert Trump filed a request for a temporary restraining order to block the book, arguing that Mary Trump is violating a nondisclosure agreement related to the settlement of the estate of the president’s father, Fred Trump. But Kelly wrote that the probate proceeding was terminated in the Surrogate’s Court in 2001, and that the court, which handles estates and wills, was limited in ruling on whether Mary Trump violated that NDA.

Kelly wrote, “Such a finding cannot be made here because this controversy is a dispute regarding private rights and obligations which fall outside the subject matter jurisdiction of the Surrogate’s Court.”

Charles Harder, Robert Trump’s attorney, said in a statement, “Robert Trump, Mary Trump and the other family members who settled in 2001, agreed to jurisdiction of future disputes in the Surrogate’s Court of Queens County, New York. This matter therefore was filed in that court.  Today, the Surrogate’s Court ruled that it does not have jurisdiction over the dispute.  Therefore, Robert Trump will proceed with filing a new lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court.”

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Simon & Schuster also published The Room Where It Happened, the tell-all from Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton. Last weekend, a federal judge rejected a Trump administration move to block the release of the book, as he noted that many thousands of copies already were circulating.

In a statement this week, Simon & Schuster 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.”

Mary Trump is the daughter of the president’s late older brother, Fred Trump Jr.

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