President Donald Trump’s family has gone to court to try to block publication of his niece’s book about him, her publisher and lawyer confirmed to NBC News.
“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 Tuesday.
The family’s legal action was first reported by the New York Times. The paper cited an unidentified person familiar with the matter saying the the president’s younger brother, Robert Trump, had filed for a temporary restraining order against his niece Mary Trump in Queens Surrogate’s Court, which handles will disputes.
NBC News has not obtained the legal filing.
Mary Trump and her brother, Fred Trump III, were involved in a messy court fight over their grandfather’s estate back in 2000, the New York Daily News reported at the time. Mary and Fred’s father, Fred Trump Jr., had died in 1984, and they charged they’d been shortchanged in the grandfather’s will thanks to the family’s machinations.
The court fight included Donald Trump and his two surviving siblings allegedly cutting off family medical coverage for Mary and her brother, who was married and had a young child with neurological disorder.
“When [Fred 3rd] sued us, we said, ‘Why should we give him medical coverage?” Donald Trump told the paper then.
The dispute was later settled in a confidential agreement that the president said this past weekend included a “very powerful” non-disclosure agreement.
“She’s not allowed to write a book,” Trump told Axios in an interview. “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 has a total … signed a nondisclosure.”
“It covers everything,” the president added.
Mary Trump’s book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” is scheduled to be released on July 28th. Publisher Simon & Schuster describes the book as a “revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him.”
“She describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains 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,” the description says.
In a statement to the Times, Robert Trump said he was “deeply disappointed” in his niece, and said her “attempt to sensationalize and mischaracterize 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.”
Simon & Schuster, which on Tuesday released another book the president had tried to stop, John Bolton’s “The Room Where It Happened,” predicted it would have similar success publishing Mary Trump’s book.
“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,” the company said in a statement.