A New York Supreme Court appellate judge overturned part of a lower court decision on Mary L. Trump’s tell-all Wednesday evening, ruling the book’s publisher can move forward with preparations for its release at the end of the month, according to reports.
Simon & Schuster, which is publishing the book written by the president’s niece, said Tuesday that it had already shipped out tens of thousands of copies of “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” in anticipation of its July 28 release, after a state Supreme Court judge ordered a temporary halt on its release.
Supreme Court Judge Hal Greenwald issued the restraining order Tuesday on the book’s publication, pending a hearing next week, after the president’s younger brother, Robert Trump, filed a court action.
Robert Trump alleges Mary Trump is in violation of a non-disclosure agreement she signed in 2001 as part of a settlement involving her inheritance from her grandfather.
Justice Alan D. Scheinkman Wednesday did not address if Mary Trump could be legally constrained by the confidentiality agreement but said Simon & Schuster is not bound by it, The New York Times reported.
“Unlike Ms. Trump, S&S has not agreed to surrender or relinquish any of its First Amendment rights,” Justice Scheinkman wrote, according to The Times.
Simon & Schuster CEO Jonathan Karp wrote in an affidavit Tuesday that the company hadn’t heard anything about a non-disclosure agreement until press printing had started on the book a couple of weeks prior.
Scheinkman said it’s “reasonable for a well-known and prominent family to collectively agree” to keep “intimate family matters” private but added the non-disclosure agreement could be affected by Trump’s ascendence to the presidency, The Times reported.
“The legitimate interest in preserving family secrets may be one thing for the family of a real estate developer, no matter how successful,” he wrote. “It is another matter for the family of the president of the United States.” He added he may have to read the book before ruling on whether she violated the NDA.
After the Wednesday reversal, Simon & Schuster put out a statement that read: “We support Mary L. Trump’s right to tell her story in ‘Too Much and Never Enough,’ a work of great interest and importance to the national discourse that fully deserves to be published for the benefit of the American public,” The Times reported. “As all know, there are well-established precedents against prior restraint and pre-publication injunctions.”
Mary Trump’s lawyer, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., called the reversal “good news” and said he plans to file an appeal Thursday on behalf of his client based on “First Amendment and basic contract law.”
Mary Trump, the daughter of the president's older brother Fred Trump Jr., who died in 1981, is a clinical psychologist and uses "her education, insight, and intimate familiarity” with the Trump family to describe a “nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse,” according to the book’s description on Amazon.com.
The book is already a bestseller on Amazon based on presales.
Earlier, Robert Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, said they would “vigorously” litigate the case over Mary Trump’s "egregious conduct” but didn’t make public comment about Wednesday’s ruling.
He said she has caused “enormous damages” through her “breach of contract," according to The Washington Post.
The Trump administration unsuccessfully sued former national security adviser John Bolton for breach of contract earlier this month over his book about the president. That book, "The Room Where It Happened," was released last week.