The Department of Justice (DOJ) has sued a disgruntled former adviser to the first lady for money she made from selling her new book because it breached confidentiality.
The DOJ recently launched a legal action to overturn any profit obtained from Stephanie Winston Wolkoff’s hardcover book, “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady.”
Documents filed with the U.S. District Court in Columbia accuse the author and former adviser to First Lady Melania Trump of failing to submit her work to the federal government for approval before publishing.
“[The book] discusses in detail Ms. Wolkoff’s work under the agreement as an adviser to the first lady, including involvement in personnel decisions in the Office of the First Lady, work on the first lady’s ‘Be Best’ initiative, and engagement in conversations with the president of the United States,” DOJ said in the documents. “These topics fall squarely within the category of materials that–under the terms of the agreement–Ms. Wolkoff expressly agreed not to divulge without obtaining written authorization.”
This failure allegedly resulted in Wolkoff breaching a nondisclosure agreement she signed that strictly prohibits her from going public about White House operations.
“In violation of these binding commitments, Ms. Wolkoff has written a book that Simon & Schuster promotes as a ‘scathing tell-all’ and an ‘epic scream of a tell-all,'” the department said. “Ms. Wolkoff never submitted a draft of the book to the first lady, her chief of staff, or the Office of the White House counsel and never received authorization to disclose any information she learned pursuant to her work under the agreement.”
Since Wolkoff allegedly failed to maintain her end of the agreement, the department will now attempt to seize any proceeds she receives from selling the unauthorized book that is in “flat violation” of the author’s “contractual obligations and fiduciary duties.”
“The United States accordingly seeks an order establishing a constructive trust on any profits obtained by [the] defendant from the disclosure of information in, or dissemination of, ‘Melania and Me,'” the department said.
The book discusses Wolkoff’s disappointment when the first lady prioritized the president over their friendship and allegedly “betrayed” her.
“Melania could have defended her innocent friend and confidant but she stood by her man,” a description of the book said on Amazon. “The betrayal nearly destroyed Wolkoff.”
It also exposes the first lady’s private views about the president’s alleged extramarital affairs, relationship with daughter Ivanka, and allocation of $107 million in inauguration funding.
“Wolkoff has some ideas,” the book description said.
Wolkoff was dismissed in 2018 after allegations surfaced that her business received $26 million to help plan Trump’s inauguration in early 2017.