An appellate court judge has lifted a temporary restraining order on Simon & Schuster that previously blocked the publisher from releasing an upcoming tell-all book from the president’s niece, Mary Trump — but the author still remains barred from publishing contents of her book until a court hearing scheduled for next Friday.
On Tuesday, a New York Supreme Court judge granted a request for a temporary restraining order against Simon & Schuster and Mary Trump requested by Robert Trump, who said that Mary Trump would be breaching a nondisclosure agreement she signed as part of a settlement with the Trump estate if she published her book. The agreement, according to an excerpt from Wednesday’s court filing, said that Mary Trump could not “directly or indirectly publish or cause to be published” any material whatsoever that concerned her relationship with the Trump family or the estate without obtaining the consent of Donald Trump, Robert Trump and Maryanne Trump Barry.
But in Wednesday’s ruling, the appellate court judge said that Simon & Schuster did not enter into this agreement with the estate and, thus, isn’t bound to any agreement made therein.
“S&S is not a party to the settlement agreement. The only basis offered by the plaintiff to extend the temporary restraining order to S&S are the allegations that S&S ‘intends to act’ on Ms. Trump’s behalf in causing the publication of the book and that S&S is acting at Ms. Trump’s direction and in concert with her. However, these allegations are conclusory and not supported by
any specific factual averments,” the presiding judge ruled. “Unlike Ms. Trump, S&S has not agreed to surrender or relinquish any of its First Amendment rights.”
The temporary restraining order still applies to Mary Trump, who will appear before the New York Supreme Court next Friday for a hearing, and is personally barred publishing or distributing any content from her book.
A spokesperson for Simon & Schuster said the publisher was “gratified” by the decision. “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. As all know, there are well-established precedents against prior restraint and pre-publication injunctions, and we remain confident that the preliminary injunction will be denied,” the spokesperson told TheWrap.
Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., an attorney for Mary Trump, said the court’s decision was also “good news.” “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,” he told TheWrap.
Charles Harder, an attorney for Robert Trump, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to a promotional summary of the book, which is scheduled for a July 28 release, Mary Trump will share “in unsparing detail everything from her uncle Donald’s place in the family spotlight and Ivana’s penchant for regifting to her grandmother’s frequent injuries and illnesses and the appalling way Donald, Fred Trump’s favorite son, dismissed and derided him when he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s.”