Members of the Trump family launched a new legal attempt late Friday to stop the president’s niece Mary writing an excoriating book about them.
Robert Trump, the president’s brother, filed an application for a restraining order against his niece at court in Dutchess County, north of New York city.
The bid is brought by Robert Trump on his own behalf and that of Donald and their sister Maryanne Trump Barry.
The move came after they lost their first bid to block Mary Trump from publishing her account of life in the family, prompted by her and her brother Fred Trump III’s bitter battle in 2000 over the president’s father Frederick Trump’s will.
A judge at the Queen’s Surrogate’s Court in New York ruled on Thursday that their application to stop Mary was ‘fatally defective’ and dismissed it.
Judge Peter J. Kelly said that his court was the wrong jurisdiction and that any attempt to block her book, titled Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, has to be done through the Supreme Court instead.
The decision was another embarrassing blow to the Trumps after they had to refile their application because they didn’t pay the $45 fee.
President Donald Trump’s niece Mary Trump is writing a tell-all book which promises to blow the lid off all the family’s most closely guarded secrets. Mary was spotted as she ran errands on Long Island, New York
The Trump family lost their first attempt to gag the president’s niece Mary Trump from writing a tell-all book about them and are now trying again in a different court. Pictured is Donald Trump alongside siblings Maryanne Trump and Robert Trump in 1990
Mary is the daughter of the president’s brother Fred Jr. (pictured), who died in 1981 from alcoholism
In his four page ruling, Judge Kelly said: ‘At the outset, the court finds that the submissions suffer from several improprieties’.
Judge Kelly wrote that a preliminary injunction is an order obtained in a pending action and as the probate for Fred Trump Sr’s estate was resolved in 2001 it is ‘non-existent’.
The judge said: ‘To the extent the accompanying petition is supposed to provide the jurisdictional basis for said motion (the injunction), it cannot do so as that petition is fatally defective’.
Judge Kelly said that the Trump family filing their motion in his court was ‘improper’ and ‘outside the parameters’ of the Surrogate’s Court.
Instead it should go through the Supreme Court, which handles civil matters – which is what the Trumps did Friday.
The president and his siblings said in their new application what they had said earlier in the week – that they would suffer ‘irreparable harm’ if Mary’s book is published.
The book’s promotional blurb says that Mary, 55, a psychologist, describes a ‘nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse’.
In their new application for a temporary restraining order on Mary and publishers Simon & Schuster, they say: ‘No amount of monetary damages can ameliorate the loss that will be suffered if Mary Trump is allowed to violate the settlement agreement and publish’.
They argued that Mary agreed not to write a memoir back in 2001 under the terms of a settlement which resolved a bitter family dispute over the estate of family patriarch Fred Trump Sr.
The agreement said that due to Donald Trump being famous and his sister Maryanne being a federal judge ‘the family made the decision collectively to enter into an agreement that would maintain the confidentiality of the family’s private matters’.
The application sets up a First Amendment clash with Mary and Simon & Schuster.
Their lawyer Theodore Boutrous has said that the Trumps are ‘pursuing this unlawful prior restraint because they do not want the public to know the truth’.
He said: ‘The courts will not tolerate this brazen violation of the First Amendment.’
In their application Friday the Trumps’ attorney Charles Harder says that it is not a First Amendment case.
‘Plaintiffs expect Mary Trump and Simon & Schuster to cast this case as a threat to First Amendment rights, but it is not,’ he writes.
‘The sort of contractual provision signed by Mary Trump, settling a family dispute with an agreement not to discuss her relationship with certain relatives, is routinely enforceable and does not raise any First Amendment implications.
‘The fact that one of those relatives, fifteen years later, ran for and won the Presidency, does not vitiate what was a limited agreement not to publicly discuss Mary Trump’s relationship with three specific members of her family.’
The Trump vs Trump battle is unlikely to end in a county court in upstate New York; it is almost certain to go to a federal court regardless of the outcome.
Simon & Schuster said: ‘We are delighted with Judge Kelly’s decision to dismiss this case from the Surrogate Court. We look forward to publishing Mary L. Trump’s TOO MUCH AND NEVER ENOUGH, and are confident we will prevail should there be further efforts to stifle this publication.’
A judge at the Queen’s Surrogate’s Court in New York ruled that their application to stop Mary was ‘fatally defective’ and dismissed it
Meanwhile her brother, Fred Trump III said Mary is still bound by a nondisclosure agreement with the Trump family and should not have written the blockbuster book that she is planning to publish next month.
In a statement issued exclusively to DailyMail.com by the president’s son Eric Trump, Fred said: ‘At the time that our lawsuit with the family was resolved, Mary and I had each received a generous financial settlement from the family and were more than willing to agree to execute non-disclosure provisions, all of which had been approved and recommended by our attorneys and advisors at that time.’
‘In my opinion, those provisions of the 2001 settlement agreement are still in effect and binding today and I have continued to honor them.’
Mary’s book — titled Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man — is scheduled to be released in July
In his statement Fred said he and his family ‘have a strong relationship with our extended family and have had no involvement or interest in the preparation of this book.’
And he said that Mary’s claim that his son William — who suffers from cerebral palsy — has been cut off by the president and his three surviving siblings is false.
‘As is also known by Mary, our son William has been very well provided for financially for many years through the William Trump Medical Fund by my aunts and uncles, Maryanne, Donald, Elizabeth, and Robert; for which we are very appreciative.’
DailyMail.com’s attempts to contact Fred Trump were unsuccessful.
One estimate says that William, who turns 21 next week, receives up to three-quarters of a million dollars a year for his condition.
Just last week, when news of the proposed book first broke, Donald Trump said he had a good relationship with Fred III.
Mary is one of two children by Fred Trump Jr, the President’s older brother who died in 1982 aged 42 after battling alcoholism.
When Fred Sr died in 1999, Mary and her brother Fred Trump III challenged his will because they claimed that the Trump family exerted undue influence to cut them out.
Mary claimed in a lawsuit that in retaliation the Trumps ended the healthcare for her side of the family.
Mary’s brother Fred Trump III tells DailyMail.com that Mary is still bound by a nondisclosure agreement and should not have written the book
DailyMail.com spotted Mary on Long Island on Friday (pictured) but she left over the weekend for Cape Cod where her condo is 56 steep steps above a sandy beach on Cape Cod Bay
DailyMail.com tracked her down to the second-floor condo in the town of Brewster, where she was spotted wearing the same outfit and buying a six-pack of Bass Ale on Tuesday (left and right). Despite wanting to tell all about her uncle, Mary was less forthcoming when it came to talking to us. ‘There will be a time and a place,’ she said. ‘Have a great day. Enjoy. It’s a beautiful spot’
In the application for the restraining order, which oversaw Fred Sr’s probate, the Trumps say that everything was resolved in 2001 under a ‘global’ agreement.
The application states: ‘Confidentiality was at the essence of the settlement agreement.
‘Fred Trump Sr had been a famous figure in New York real estate. Fred’s son Donald also had become a famous real estate developer.
‘Fred’s daughter, Judge Barry, was a judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
‘The court cases involving Fred Trump Sr’s will had received extensive publicity and the family made the decision collectively to enter into an agreement that would maintain the confidentiality of the family’s private matters’.
The financial terms have been blacked out and there are nine pages including sections on ground leases, a Trump-owned company and trusts set up in 1976.
The application does however note that Mary received a ‘substantial’ amount of money.
As part of the agreement Mary agreed to not ‘directly or indirectly publish or cause to be published any diary, memoir, letter, story, photograph, interview, article, essay, account or description or deficient of any kind whatsoever, whether fictionalized or not, concerning their litigation with (the Trumps) or assist or provide information to others in connection therewith’, the application states.
The only exception would be if Donald, Maryanne and their brother Robert gave consent.
Yet in an affidavit Robert Trump says that he ‘never consented’ to let Mary write her book.
In an affidavit Mary claimed at that point, she discovered that in September 1991 Fred Sr rewrote his will so it ‘virtually disinherited’ her and Fred III. The new will divided the bulk of the inheritance among his living children, meaning Mary and Fred III only got $200,000 each because their father was dead. Pictured l-r: Robert, Elizabeth, Fred, Donald and Maryanne
The Trumps argue that an emergency injunction is needed because books are often sent to book stores weeks ahead of publication.
They appear to have learned the lessons from the book by Donald’s former national security adviser John Bolton, which was hugely embarrassing for the President.
They went to court to stop ‘The Room Where It Happened’ from being published but a judge refused because much of it had already been made public through leaks.
The last time Mary spoke publicly about her family was 20 years ago in an article for the New York Daily News in which she said Donald and his siblings ‘should be ashamed of themselves’.
She was reportedly the source for a New York Times investigation into the President in 2018 which demolished his image as a self made man.
In fact Donald received at least $413million from his father and was a millionaire by the time he was eight.
Mary’s Twitter feed is an indication of what the tone of her book will be like and she called her uncle’s election victory in 2016 the ‘worst night of my life’.
The 55-year-old left her home on New York’s Long Island over the weekend after news of her heavily contested tome broke. She drove her black Audi 270 miles to the condo on Cape Cod in Massachusetts that she bought in 2004 for $1.15 million, but is now worth nearly double that.
HOW THE TRUMP SIBLINGS AND THEIR NIECE AND NEPHEW WENT TO WAR OVER MONEY
For decades: Fred Sr agrees to pay Fred Trump Jr’s family’s medical bills.
1970: Fred Trump Jr and his wife Lisa Trump divorce.
1982: Fred Jr dies aged 42 after a lifetime of battling alcohol addiction. Fred Sr agrees to cover Lisa’s medical expenses and those of her children, the lawsuit states.
September 18, 1991: Fred Sr changes his will. Mary and Fred III allege he did so under the undue influence of Donald and the rest of the family.
June 25, 1999: Fred Sr dies. His estate goes into probate.
June 30, 1999: William Trump, Fred III’s son, is born with severe disabilities and seizures which requires extensive medical treatment.
Early 2000: Mary and Fred III challenge Fred Sr’s will because they claim he was manipulated into cutting them out by Donald, Robert and Maryanne.
March 30, 2000: Trump family informs Mary, Fred III and their mother that their health insurance benefits, which they had all their lives, would be terminated on May 1 that year. Fred III’s son William’s benefits would terminate on April 1 – just two days later.
April 27, 2000: Fred III, his wife, Mary and their mother sue the Trump family, claiming they are cutting off their health insurance in retaliation for challenging Fred Sr’s will.
Later in 2000: The case is eventually settled and the terms are not in the court file.