Mary Trump’s Publisher Urges Judge Not to ‘Stop the Presses’
(Bloomberg) -- The publisher behind a tell-all book about President Donald Trump’s “toxic” family urged a New York judge to deny a request for an injunction sought by the president’s brother, Robert Trump, to block the memoir.
Simon & Schuster said in a court filing late Tuesday that it wasn’t aware of an alleged nondisclosure agreement struck nearly 20 years ago among family members including the book’s author, Mary Trump, who is the president’s niece. The company also said “thousands” of copies of the book have already been shipped.
“Mr. Trump believes that simply because he alleges that Ms. Trump violated a nondisclosure agreement, one that Simon & Schuster did not know about and was not a party to, he may force Simon & Schuster to stop the presses and throw the brakes on the delivery trucks, halting publication of the book,” the publisher said in the filing. “Such an outcome would be unprecedented in this country.”
Earlier in the day, a judge in Poughkeepsie temporarily barred Mary Trump and the publisher from distributing any version of the book or any portion of it “in any medium containing descriptions or accounts” of her relationships with the president or his brother. The judge gave Mary Trump until July 10 to explain why he shouldn’t issue a longer-lasting injunction.
Simon & Schuster Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Karp said in a sworn affidavit that the company participated in an auction last year to get rights to the book.
“We were interested in publishing Ms. Trump’s work because we believed that it would address issues of profound importance to our country, with critical insights concerning the President of the United States, his formative years, and his family’s financial dealings (which have been the subject of intense scrutiny by the press),” Karp said.
The company said that as of Tuesday, about 75,000 copies of the book were printed and bound and that an unspecified number have already been distributed.
“This includes shipments to retail booksellers large and small, from large national chains and online entities to a host of small, independent booksellers,” according to the court filing. “Simon & Schuster no longer maintains control of the copies of the book that have been shipped.”
Charles Harder, one of the president’s lawyers, who is representing Robert Trump in the case, said in an emailed statement that Simon & Schuster received his client’s application for a temporary restraining order -- which included a description of the confidentiality agreement -- on June 23, two days before it began shipping books.
“Simon & Schuster was well aware of the confidentiality agreement before it began shipping books, and intentionally interfered with that contract, which is a violation of the law,” Harder said. “It is no wonder why the New York Supreme Court entered a TRO enjoining Simon and Schuster from any further printing or distribution of the book.”
Harder said Mary Trump and the publisher are liable “for the enormous damages.”
The book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” which is due to be published on July 28, will include purported psychological observations about the author’s “toxic” family and other personal information, according to the lawsuit.
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