Court Battles

DOJ dismissing suit against author of Melania Trump tell-all book

The Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed a Trump-era lawsuit on Monday against the woman who authored a tell-all book about former first lady Melania Trump.

Justice Department officials requested the dismissal of its lawsuit against Stephanie Winston Wolkoff for her memoir called “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of my Friendship with the First Lady,” which had accused the author of violating a White House nondisclosure agreement. 

Attorneys for the Justice Department did not give a reason for seeking the dismissal. It is one of the first lawsuits not being pursued by the Biden DOJ following the departure of the Trump administration.

Wolkoff’s attorney, Lorin L. Reisner, told The Hill in a statement that “we are very pleased that the Department of Justice has dismissed this lawsuit.”

A DOJ spokesperson responded to the dismissal in a comment to Politico, saying, “the Department evaluated the case and concluded that dismissal without prejudice was in the best interests of the United States based on the facts and the law.”

The DOJ’s Civil Division under former President Trump had filed the lawsuit against Wolkoff, a former friend and senior aide to Melania Trump from 2017 to 2018, in October, about a month after Wolkoff’s book published by Simon & Schuster. 

In the case in federal court in D.C., Justice Department officials pointed to a nondisclosure contract that Wolkoff signed in 2017 when volunteering as an aide to the first lady. The DOJ alleged that Wolkoff violated the deal by not sending a draft of her book to the White House for review and by not obtaining permission to write it. 

The DOJ asserted that it warned Wolkoff’s attorney ahead of the book’s publication that it would break the contract. 

Melania Trump issued a searing rebuke to Wolkoff’s book in an October statement, calling them “salacious claims.”

“We all know that more often than not, information that could be helpful to children is lost in the noise made by self-serving adults,” she said. “I have most recently found this to be the case as major news outlets eagerly covered salacious claims made by a former contractor who advised my office.”

Other former White House aides put out books after their role and had not faced legal consequences afterward, prompting Wolkoff and her team to argue that the former president and first lady were using the DOJ to promote their own interests. 

Wolkoff also made headlines about her relationship with Melania Trump when recordings of their conversations were released, in which the then-first lady expressed agitation with her duties to decorate for Christmas and defended the Trump administration’s family separation policy.

Tags Department of Justice DOJ Donald Trump First Lady Joe Biden Justice Department Melania Trump nondisclosure agreement Stephanie Winston Wolkoff White House

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